The word “osteoporosis” literally means porous bones and it occurs when bones lose too much of their protein and mineral content – especially calcium. Over time bone mass and strength is decreased, and this can result in fractures, as the bones become more fragile. If osteoporosis is severe enough, an act as simple as coughing or sneezing can be enough to cause a fracture.
Osteoporosis is most common in women past menopausal age; however, it is increasingly affecting men. The disease is more common in women as they have smaller, thinner bones to start with and they lose bone density quickly after menopause occurs, due to the body stopping the production of estrogen, a hormone that protects the bones.