Your changing bones
Your body needs the minerals calcium and phosphate to make and keep healthy bones.
- During your life, your body continues to both reabsorb old bone and create new bone.
- As long as your body has a good balance of new and old bone, your bones stay healthy and strong.
- Bone loss occurs when more old bone is reabsorbed than new bone is created.
Sometimes bone loss occurs without any known cause. Other times, bone loss and thin bones run in families. In general, white, elderly women are the most likely to have bone loss.
Brittle, fragile bones can be caused by anything that makes your body destroy too much bone, or keeps your body from making enough bone.
Weak bones can break easily, even
without an obvious injury.
Aging and bone loss
As you age, your body may reabsorb calcium and phosphate from your bones instead of keeping these minerals in your bones. This makes your bones weaker. When this process reaches a certain stage, it is called osteoporosis.
Watch this video about:Osteoporosis
Many times, a person will fracture a bone before they even know they have bone loss. By the time a fracture occurs, the bone loss is serious.
Women over age 50 and men over age 70 have a higher risk of osteoporosis than younger women and men.
- For women, a drop in estrogen at the time of menopause is a major cause of bone loss.
- For men, a drop in testosterone as they age can cause bone loss.