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Osteoporosis FAQ

What Is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis (meaning porous bone) is a bone disease in which bone loss occurs, so that bones become weak and are more likely to break. Without prevention or treatment, osteoporosis can progress without pain or symptoms until a bone breaks (fractures). Fractures from osteoporosis commonly occur in the hip, spine, ribs, and wrist.

What Causes Osteoporosis?

Bones may seem like hard and lifeless structures, but they are in fact living tissue. Bone is constantly broken down and remodeled (through a process called bony resorption) by our bodies, while new bone is simultaneously deposited. When bone is broken down faster than it is deposited, low bone mass (osteopenia) and osteoporosis can occur.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/25/2016

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Osteoporosis Treatment

Main Types of Drugs

There are two main types of drugs: antiresorptive drugs that slow the progression of bone loss and bone-building agents that help increase bone mass. Antiresorptive drugs are already widely available. Bone-building drugs are being developed by researchers and are just becoming available.


Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Osteoporosis »

Osteoporosis is a systemic skeletal disorder characterized by decreased bone mass and deterioration of bony microarchitecture.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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