Osteoporosis - What it is and what causes it

  • Osteoporosis is a bone disease in which bones become weak, and even a simple fall or bump can cause a bone to break.
  • The most common bones to break or fracture are those of the spine, hip and the wrist.
  • It is called a “silent disease’’ because you cannot feel or see your bones becoming weaker.
  • Infact, most people don’t know that they have osteoporosis, until a bone breaks and by that time the disease has already advanced.
  • The normal bone-remodeling cycle is a balance of two special cells working together to keep bones strong.
  • Osteoclast cells break down old bone, causing pits.
  • Osteoblast cells on the other hand, work to fill in these pits with new bone.
  • As a person grows older the bone-remodeling cycle changes and more bone is broken down than is formed.
  • Osteoclasts start to break down the bone faster.
  • It can not keep up and fill in the pits that are being formed.
  • The result is that bones become thin and fragile, which leads to an increased risk of fractures.