Osteoporosis means “porous bones” and it is often called “the silent disease” because bone is lost with no signs. You may not know you have osteoporosis until a strain, bump, or fall causes a break. Our bones are strongest at about age 30 then our bones begin to lose density, which means significant bone density loss will increase the risk of a fracture.
Our bones are constantly being rebuilt throughout our lifetime. Bones are made up of collagen, which is a protein that provides the basic framework and calcium phosphate, a mineral that hardens the bone. As we age we lose more bone than we replace.
MedicineNet.com has a very thorough explanation of the differences of osteopenia and osteoporosis (http://bit.ly/1oE55yK). They state that it is important to note that while osteopenia is considered a lesser degree of bone loss than osteoporosis, it nevertheless can be of concern when it is associated with other risk factors (such as smoking, cortisone steroid usage, rheumatoid arthritis, family history of osteoporosis, etc.) that can increase the chances for developing vertebral, hip and other fractures. In this setting osteopenia may require medication as part of the treatment program. Learn more about the difference between osteoporosis and osteopenia here: (http://bit.ly/1oE4xsG).