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Symptoms and Signs of Osteoporosis

Doctor's Notes on Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a condition characterized by a decrease in the density of bone, leading to reduced bone strength and fragile bones that are prone to fracture. There are many conditions and risk factors believed to cause osteoporosis, including thin body frame, Caucasian or Asian race, lack of exercise, excessive alcohol use, poor nutrition, a diet low in calcium, chronic inflammation, immobility, and low estrogen (in women) or testosterone levels (in men).

Osteoporosis weakens the bone and results in frequent fractures (breaks) in the bones. The conditions can be present for years before the characteristic symptom of bone fractures develops. Associated symptoms can include a severe pain that radiates from the back to the sides of the body due to fractures of the vertebrae, chronic low back pain, loss of height, and/or curving of the spine due to collapse of the vertebrae.

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 3/30/2019


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.