Osteoporosis is a disease that makes your bones weak. People with the disease can break their bones too easily. For instance, people with osteoporosis sometimes break a bone after falling down at home.
Breaking a bone can be serious, especially if the bone is in the hip. People who break a hip sometimes lose the ability to walk on their own. Many of them end up in a nursing home. That’s why it is so important to avoid breaking a bone in the first place.
Osteoporosis does not cause symptoms until you break a bone. The best test is a bone density test called the “DXA test.” It is a special kind of X-ray.
Some people learn that they have osteoporosis because they break a bone during a fall or a mild impact. This is called a “fragility fracture,” because people with healthy bones should not break a bone that easily. People who have fragility fractures are at high risk of having other bones break.
Experts recommend bone density testing for women older than 65. That is because women in this age group have the highest risk of osteoporosis. Still, other people should sometimes be tested, too. Ask your doctor if you should be tested.