Understanding Osteoporosis Make an Appointment Ask a Question Search Conditions This information has been reviewed and approved by Barbara L. Goldstein, MD, MMSc, Mehrnaz Maleki, MD and Ann Mullen, AE-C, CNS, MSN, RN. (May 2015). Understanding Osteoporosis What is Osteoporosis? Osteoporosis is a progressive bone disease that weakens the bones and increases the risk of fractures. It is a “silent disease,” because bone loss occurs without symptoms. Risk Factors Women and postmenopausal women Men with significant smoking history Family history Inactive lifestyle Getting older Low testosterone levels (men) Alcohol Smoking Thin and/or small frame Calcium and vitamin D deficiency Corticosteroids and anti-seizure medications Medical conditions that weaken calcium absorption Diagnosis Bone densitometry (DEXA) X-ray: Detects osteoporosis before a fracture occurs Predicts chances of fracturing in the future Determines rate of bone loss Monitors the effects of treatment Treatment Follow your doctor’s recommendations. Take calcium and vitamin D supplements. Eat dairy and dark leafy and green vegetables. Take prescribed medications. Prevention Walk or jog regularly. Eat dairy products and dark leafy and green vegetables daily. Limit alcohol intake. Stop smoking. Take calcium and vitamin D supplements. More Information on Understanding Osteoporosis Osteoporosis Overview Male Smokers at Higher Risk for Osteoporosis Bone Density Test Bone Health Preventing Falls Make an Appointment Find a Doctor Want to use this on your website? Fill out the content usage request form and then copy this code: or download our Understanding Osteoporosis infographic poster (pdf).