Dr. Carlos Rebollón


Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

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What is osteoporosis? Causes and symptoms

What is osteoporosis?

Throughout a person’s life, there are metabolic changes that occur within the bones, alternating between phases of destruction and formation. These phases are regulated by various hormones, physical activity, diet, and general habits.

Under regular conditions, a person reaches their maximum bone mass around the age of 30-35, after which there is a natural loss of bone mass.

Osteoporosis is a systemic skeletal disease characterized by a decrease in bone mass and deterioration of the bone microarchitecture. This makes the bones more porous, increasing the number and size of cavities or spaces inside them, resulting in bone fragility and a higher risk of fractures.

Osteoporosis is often called a silent disease because one cannot feel the bones weakening. This condition is asymptomatic and can go unnoticed for many years until it eventually manifests with a fracture.

Treatments for Osteoporosis

Individuals at high risk of fragility fractures due to osteoporosis are treated with medications to strengthen the bones and increase bone density, significantly reducing the chances of bone injury.

The commonly used antiresorptive or osteoforming drugs for osteoporosis include:


Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs)





Some of these medications help prevent the loss of bone density, while others promote bone growth and strengthening. In any case, it is essential to adhere to the treatment plan recommended by the specialist to maintain bone mass density within its limits.

Causes of osteoporosis

The risk of developing osteoporosis is determined by the peak bone mass achieved in adulthood and the subsequent decline during aging. Some of the most common causes of this disease include:


Women have a higher risk of osteoporosis for several reasons. Their peak bone mass is typically lower than that of men, and menopause accelerates bone loss (postmenopausal osteoporosis).


Genetic and hereditary factors:

Daughters of mothers with osteoporosis, for example, acquire lower bone mass than daughters of mothers with normal bones, and the same applies to identical twins.

Malnutrition, poor diet, lack of physical exercise

Use of certain medications:

Some medications can also contribute to the development of osteoporosis.

In cancer patients:

Osteoporosis and an increased risk of fragility fractures are common, not due to the neoplasm itself but as a result of cancer treatment.

Inflammatory and rheumatic diseases.

Endocrine disorders, liver disease, renal insufficiency, among others.

Que Es La Osteoporosis. Sus Causas Y Sintomas

Types of osteoporosis

There are different types of osteoporosis:

Postmenopausal osteoporosis:

The main cause is estrogen deficiency. Symptoms generally appear in women aged 51 to 75, although they can start earlier or later.

Senile osteoporosis:

Resulting from age-related calcium deficiency and an imbalance between bone degradation and regeneration. It typically affects individuals over 70 years old and is twice as common in women as in men.

Secondary osteoporosis:

It can be a consequence of certain diseases such as chronic renal insufficiency and certain hormonal disorders, or the use of certain medications such as corticosteroids, barbiturates, anticonvulsants, and excessive amounts of thyroid hormone.


Osteoporosis is a chronic condition that weakens the bones, making them increasingly fragile and prone to fractures, as we have mentioned before. Individuals diagnosed with osteoporosis who do not promptly adopt a treatment method are at risk of suffering debilitating injuries from simple actions such as a slight twist or a minor fall.

Symptoms of osteoporosis

This disease does not manifest symptoms until the bone loss is significant enough to cause fractures. The most common fractures are wrists, hips, and vertebral fractures.

Hip fractures are of particular importance as they are considered a serious event requiring surgical intervention, hospitalization, and causing a loss of quality of life for the patient, even if it’s for a short period.

In the case of other fractures such as vertebral fractures, patients may experience acute pain when performing mild exertion or lifting weight. The patient may have muscle contractions that prevent them from performing bending or rotational maneuvers of the spine. The crisis usually lasts two to three weeks, and the intensity of the pain progressively decreases.

Causas De La Osteoporosis


Preventing the progression or onset of osteoporosis is crucial. To achieve this, there are some recommendations to maintain and increase bone density:

Engage in physical exercise: Exercises that require muscles to move the bones can maintain or even increase bone density.

Maintain adequate calcium intake.

Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.

Do not abuse medications not prescribed by doctors.

It is important to have good bone health, and for that, healthy habits such as regular physical exercise, proper nutrition with calcium-rich foods, and moderate exposure to sunlight are necessary.

However, these measures are insufficient if an individual has low bone mass. In these cases, it is crucial to seek a specialist who can provide a comprehensive diagnosis and create a timely treatment plan.


Sintomas De La Osteoporosis

Frequently Asked Questions

Osteoporosis is a completely silent disease, so it is often detected after the occurrence of the first fracture. Considering that most cases are diagnosed between the ages of 50 and 70, we can say that people can have a normal life until that point.

From old age onwards, the outlook changes dramatically as the disease becomes more invasive and the bones become vulnerable. In its advanced stage, fractures occur recurrently, leading the patient to a disabling condition and even death within a few years.

Although osteoporosis is a lifelong disease, it can be medically treated to reverse bone density loss. However, this does not mean there is a definitive cure. Individuals with osteoporosis will always require personalized treatment to delay, maintain, or increase bone density according to their specific needs.

Unfortunately, individuals with osteoporosis should know that medication will always be part of their life after diagnosis, both to alleviate the pain in the bone structures affected by the disease and to halt its progression.

In addition to routine medications, a diet rich in calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin B is recommended. Regular physical activity, sufficient sun exposure, and good postural hygiene are also advised to address the signs of osteoporosis.

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"Tips for the Osteoporosis Patient."

In this E-book we will give you some tips on how to lead a healthy and active life, even when you have osteoporosis.