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What is osteoporosis?

When people in Wisconsin talk about slip-and-fall accidents, osteoporosis is often part of the conversation. Though osteoporosis is not a cause of accidents or falls, it may make the effects of a fall worse if you have it, resulting in fractures and other serious injuries that may not have occurred in the absence of the condition. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, osteoporosis occurs when your body breaks down old bone without producing enough new bone to replace it. This causes your bones to become weak, brittle and more susceptible to fracture due to a fall or impact. There are many risk factors for osteoporosis, some of which are within your control. For example, you can help prevent osteoporosis with cessation or reduction of smoking and drinking alcohol, increased calcium intake and regular exercise. However, some risk factors for osteoporosis, such as your family history or your age, are beyond your ability to change or control. Certain medical conditions also increase your risk of developing osteoporosis, though treatment of the underlying condition may help improve your chances of avoiding it. 

To prevent osteoporosis, your doctor may suggest that you supplement your diet with vitamin D and calcium. Vitamin D works with your body to help it absorb calcium. Sometimes vitamin D and calcium are available in combination, but if you already receive enough calcium from your diet, you need to be careful about supplementation as kidney stones can result otherwise. If you have osteoporosis and are at high risk for fracture, your doctor may prescribe a type of medication called a bisphosphonate. 

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.

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