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What Is Bone Loss?

What is Bone Loss?

  • Although bones may seem like hard and lifeless structures, bones are living tissues that are like muscle.
  • Bones respond to exercise and a healthy diet by becoming stronger.
  • Bones make up our skeletons and provide structure and support for our bodies. However, bones also act like a storehouse for minerals that our bodies need, such as calcium.
  • During a person's lifetime, the body constantly breaks down old bone (through a process called resorption) and builds up new bone.
  • Any time old bone is broken down faster than new bone is made, net bone loss occurs. Bone loss can lead to low bone density (osteopenia), weakness of the bone, and eventually osteoporosis.
  • Osteoporosis (or porous bone) is a disease in which bones become weak and fragile. Porous bones are more likely to break.
  • Osteoporosis is a serious disease that affects millions of people worldwide. Without prevention or treatment, osteoporosis can progress without pain or symptoms until a bone breaks (fracture).
  • Fractures commonly occur in the hip, spine, and wrist.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/9/2015
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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Bone Loss:

Bone Loss - Medications

What medications were you prescribed to prevent osteoporosis? Were they effective?

Bone Loss - Patient Experience

Do you have a condition that caused or is causing bone loss? Please describe your experience?

Diagnosing Bone Loss

A bone mineral density (BMD) test measures the density of minerals (such as calcium) in your bones using a special X-ray or computed tomography (CT) scan. This information is used to estimate the strength of your bones.

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