(WYTV) – One in three women over the age of 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis, but it’s not just a female problem. One in five men over the age of 50 will also suffer a fracture.
Osteoporosis is simply a thinning of your bones to the point where they can break.
Women are most at risk, especially after menopause when a growing lack of estrogen can weaken their bones.
A bone density test can show this weakness, otherwise most people wouldn’t even know they have osteoporosis because there are usually no symptoms until a bone snaps.
“Which is one of the reasons why this is dangerous, because it’s like having high blood pressure or high blood sugar. Many times, you have no clue because nobody’s checked,” said Dr. Bart Clarke, an endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic.
Bone loss really starts to occur in a big way at about age 55, so mid-50s is the usual age range. If you’re in your 50s, your doctor should be bringing this up.
Men can develop osteoporosis due to low testosterone levels. Steroid use can also bring it on, along with some prostate cancer drugs, a lack of calcium and vitamin D, and too much drinking or smoking.