Risk Factors For Osteoporosis

Interesting to note is the fact that just being a woman already puts you at a higher risk of Osteoporosis, scary right? Well there is no need to panic! Knowledge they say is power. So let’s start with the basics, Osteoporosis is a disease of the bone which weakens it over time. It slows down new bone creation making it hard for the body to replace and absorb bone tissue and in most cases has little to no symptoms.

An Osteoporosis diagnosis essentially means your bones have lost its density and have now become fragile and a person has become largely susceptible to bone fracture or breakage. Bones found in the spine, hips, ribs, and wrists commonly suffer fractures from osteoporosis.

A calcium deficiency or malabsorption could lead to osteoporosis or more complex bone related health conditions. Anyone can get osteoporosis but women are about four times more likely than men to develop it reason being that the bone loss process speeds up after menopause as a result of the considerable decline in their estrogen levels. This however does not mean that men do not suffer osteoporosis. Men tend to reach higher levels of bone density and so for them, bone loss might be as a result of the aging process and will typically have to reach a severe form before it can cause osteoporosis;

Below are some risk factors that could make you more likely to get diagnosed with osteoporosis ;

  • Family History
  • Post Menopausal Syndrome
  • Alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Vitamin D Deficiency
  • Chronic Diseases Such As Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Anti-Inflammatory Steroids

Family History:

A family history of osteoporosis can be a cause for alarm and essentially it would require a visit to the hospital to run some tests and take preventive measures such as eating a healthy diet while of course staying actively fit.

Post-menopausal syndrome:

PMS is associated with symptoms such as mood swings, insomnia, dry vagina, difficulty concentrating, mental confusion, stress incontinence, urge incontinence, osteoporotic symptoms, depression, headaches etc. The process of bone loss speeds up after  menopause resulting in low estrogen levels leaving women four times more likely than men to get diagnosed of the disease.

Alcohol:

Drinking a lot of alcohol can affect the production of new bone and increases the risk of breaking a bone.

Smoking;

Excessive smoking puts a strain on the bones as tobacco is in fact poisonous to the bones as well as can affect your hormones and increase your risk of osteoporosis.

Vitamin D deficiency:

Vitamin D maximizes the potential of calcium by helping it absorb into the body thereby allowing it to function extensively in the bones. Without Vitamin D the body cannot absorb calcium at least not enough to prevent osteoporosis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis:

Rheumatoid arthritis has an impact on bone mineralization which is the body’s ability to absorb and make use of bone-building minerals, including calcium and phosphorous. People with this disease are at an increased risk of developing osteoporosis.

Anti-Inflammatory Steroids:

Steroids are used to treat a number of inflammatory conditions including rheumatoid arthritis. They can affect the production of bone by reducing the amount of calcium absorbed from the gut and increasing calcium loss through the kidneys. If you're likely to need steroids, such as prednisolone, for more than 3 months your doctor will probably suggest calcium and vitamin D tablets, and sometimes other medications, to help prevent osteoporosis.

Think you might be at risk? Getting tested first and making better health and lifestyle choices will definitely set you off on the right part! A balanced diet rich in calcium, phosphorus and Vitamin D with regular exercise can help keep your bones strong and reduce your chances of osteoporosis. Lastly, do what you must to ensure you do not fall as it more times than none will lead to fractured bones which in turn can become a health crisis.

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