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What Is Osteoporosis?

November 16, 2015
National Osteoporosis Foundation pic

National Osteoporosis Foundation

An accomplished executive in the field of pharmacology, Terry Herring develops innovative treatments at Mission Pharmacal Company. Through Mission Pharmacal, Terry Herring also works with the National Osteoporosis Foundation in its efforts to inform the public about this widespread disease.

Osteoporosis affects bone tissue, either by its loss or underproduction. It can best be understood by a visualization: portions of healthy bone resemble the holes of a honeycomb, while bone affected by osteoporosis has much larger holes, rendering it weaker and more susceptible to breakage.

Some 54 million Americans have low bone mass and are at risk for osteoporosis. Research of persons over 50 indicates that roughly one in two women and one in four men will break bones because of it. Osteoporosis is considered a silent disease, since one cannot feel his or her bones getting weaker.

Bone breakages due to the disease most often occur in the wrists, hips, or spine, although it also places other bones at risk. Some persons may lose height because of damaged vertebrae. Osteoporosis may also impact quality of life by reducing mobility and preventing enjoyable activities.

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