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Fragile bones

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Introduction
Osteoporosis is a condition that affects the bones, causing them to become weak and fragile and more likely to break (fracture).
Symptoms of osteoporosis
Osteoporosis develops slowly over several years. It is likely that there will be no warning symptoms until a minor fall or sudden impact causes a fracture.
Causes of osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is caused by bones losing their density, either through age or other factors. Some people are more at risk of developing osteoporosis than others.
Diagnosing osteoporosis
If you at high risk of osteoporosis your GP may refer you for a bone density scan, known as a DEXA scan. X-rays may be used to diagnose fractures.
Treating osteoporosis
Treatment for osteoporosis is based on treating and preventing fractures, using medication to slow down bone loss and managing pain.
Preventing osteoporosis
Following a healthy lifestyle throughout your life is the best way to delay the onset of osteoporosis and slow the rate at which your bones become fragile.
Living with osteoporosis
A diagnosis of osteoporosis doesn’t mean you will definitely have a fragility fracture. There are many things you can do to reduce your risk.
'I didn't know I had osteoporosis until I fractured two vertebrae'
Dorothy Borbas was diagnosed with osteoporosis at the age of 75, after falling and breaking two vertebrae in her back.
'Talking to other people helps me deal with my pain'
   “I was 43 when I was diagnosed with osteoporosis. I was on a family holiday in the Dominican Republic in June 2002, when I collapsed in agony. In
'Even lying in bed was uncomfortable'
 Phyllis Long, aged 60, was recently diagnosed with osteoporosis after months of experiencing upper back pain  “I had severe pain in the right side of my upper