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Osteoporosis Osteoporosis is a health ailment which causes bones to become so porous that they can break easily. Osteoporosis literally means 'porous bones'. The bones in our skeleton are made of a thick outer shell and a strong inner mesh filled with collagen [protein], calcium salts and other minerals. The inside looks like honeycomb, with blood vessels and bone marrow in the spaces between bone. Osteoporosis occurs when the holes between bone become bigger, making it fragile and liable to break easily. Osteoporosis usually affects the whole skeleton but it most commonly causes breaks or fractures to bone in the wrist, spine and hip. Women are potentially at higher risk of osteoporosis because of the bone loss that occurs when they get relatively old and are experiencing menopause. (Men can, however, acquire the bone disease as well.) The low estrogen level results in an accelerated bone loss. This can lead to osteoporosis and an increased risk of fracture. There are also many other factors which can increase your risk, and these are early menopause (before 45), early hysterectomy (especially if one or both ovaries were removed), or infrequent periods often linked to over-dieting (especially anorexia) or over-exercising (long distance running). Other risk factors are a fracture after a minor accident or fall, long term or high dose oral corticosteroid treatment, family history (parent or close relative with os...

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