Osteoporosis Osteoporosis is the disease marked by weak, brittle bones mostly found in women. The medical significance of this disease is that the bones lose both calcium for strength and matrix for support. Osteoporosis is the scientific name of the disease, but another term for it is osteopenia. The common name for it is osteoporosis. One half of all women over the age of 45 years, and 90 percent of women over 75 years in the United States are affected with osteoporosis. There are many causes for this disease. One cause is our genetic heritage. If your mom had it, and her mom had it, there is a very good chance that you will get osteoporosis. Another cause could be an inadequate intake of vitamins and calcium. Dietary surveys have shown that most adults do not take in the recommended amount of calcium in their diets. Studies have shown that young men who develop osteoporosis are often heavy alcohol drinkers. Studies have also shown that a high intake of aluminum-containing antacids can reduce the calcium supply. Since osteoporosis is a shortage of calcium, the problem just might be that you do not take in enough calcium. Another cause is hormone excess in the body. A common cause of loss of calcium is too many hormones made from the parathyroid or thyroid glands. The parathyroid gland secretes the parathyroid hormone. This hormone affects calcium metabolism and is essential for the maintenance of good bone structure. If too much is produced, the level of serum calcium rises and calcium is extracted for the bones, causing them to become weak. Quite often, older women with osteoporosis also have osteomalacia, which is a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is needed to maintain the normal metabolism of calcium in the body (Fernandez-Madrid 208-209). Another cause of this disease is the fact that one is not physically active. Daily exercise is always recommended to keep your entire body healthy. Osteoporosis also …
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