Osteoporosis develops very slowly over a period of many years. The condition may creep up on the patient without any obvious symptoms initially – it can take several months, and even several years to become noticeable. Early signs of osteoporosis may include:
* Joint pains
* Difficulty standing
* Difficulty sitting up straight. The stooping position often seen among elderly people is a visible sign of possible osteoporosis.
As the person’s bone density or bone mass continues to go down fractures of the hip, wrist or bones in the spine become more common. Even a cough or a sneeze may fracture a rib or cause partial collapse of one of the spinal bones.
Osteoporosis causes no specific pain or symptoms. However, it does increase the risk of serious or debilitating fractures.
The most common cause of osteoporosis is age. The older you get, the more bone loss you are likely to have, especially if you don’t take in enough calcium.
Osteoporosis also can be caused by diseases or other factors, such as:
Too much smoking or drinking