Osteoporosis” literally means “porous bones. The bones become weaker, increasing the risk of fractures, especially in the hip, spinal vertebrae, and wrist.
Bone tissue is constantly being renewed, and new bone replaces old, damaged bone. In this way, the body maintains bone density and the integrity of its crystals and structure.
Bone loss that leads to osteoporosis develops slowly. There are often no symptoms or outward signs, and a person may not know they have it until they experience a fracture after a minor incident, such as a fall, or even a cough or sneeze.
Some diseases or medications cause changes in hormone levels, and some drugs reduce bone mass.
Diseases that affect hormone levels include hyperthyroidism, hyperparathyroidism, and Cushing’s disease.
Research published in 2015 suggests that transgender women who receive hormone treatment (HT) may be at higher risk of osteoporosis. However, using anti-androgens for a year before starting HT may reduce this risk. Transgender men do not appear to have a high risk of osteoporosis. More research is needed to confirm this.
Calcium is essential for bones, and ensuring an adequate calcium intake is important.
Adults aged 19 years and above should consume 1,000 milligrams (mg) a day. Women aged 51 years and over, and all adults from 71 years should have a daily intake of 1,200 mg.