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Living Healthy

Osteoporosis

 BOSTON (WHDH) -- If you're a woman over age 50, you have a 50-50 chance of breaking a bone because of osteoporosis at some point.

For men, it's a one in four chance.

64-year-old Cheryl Evans has always been proactive about her health.

"I try to eat properly. I have taken the calcium throughout my adult life, I try to walk," Evans said.

Cheryl says her mother had problems with her bones, so when she had her own unexplainable fracture in her foot, she knew there was a deeper issue.

The first plan of action was a bone density test.

Densitometrist Staci Boudreaux says it's an easy test.

"You just lay on your back on a table. The scanner moves over your hips and lower back. It takes five to ten minutes and what they're looking for is what's called the gold standard of measurement," Boudreaux said.

Cheryl's numbers came back low.

Osteoporosis is considered a silent disease because you can't feel your bones getting weaker.

"You don't have any symptoms of osteoporosis. You won't hurt, it doesn't cause achiness, that's more arthritis," Boudreaux said.

Cheryl is still focused on staying healthy and active so she takes an osteoporosis medication, injected every night to manage her bone density.

"It has a very small needle and all you do is screw the needle on, pull the plunger out and push the plunger in," Evans said.

She's also part of an osteoporosis support group, learning from experts and peers about life with the disease.

"It just gives you a good feeling to know that there's somebody in this with you that you can call upon," Evans said.

We typically think of osteoporosis as being a problem for older women but it can also affect men when there's a weakening in bone strength.