There are numerous typical risk factors associated with osteoporosis. However, while we go through the risks factors, please keep in mind that osteoporosis is a preventable disease. Though you cannot change some of the risk factors (such as the ones related to genetics), there are plenty that you can change.
Women are much more likely to develop osteoporosis than men. One in two women over 50 has osteoporosis currently in the developed world. This is due to the fact the women lose bone mass much more rapidly during menopause whereas men do no start to typically loss bone mass until their late 60’s and 70’s.
Osteoporosis much more likely to develop later in life but can happen at any time. As stated above 1 out of every 2 women will develop osteoporosis over 50. But one out of four (or five) men over 50 will develop osteoporosis too. The older you get from there, the higher the risk becomes.
Though certain ethnicities are at great risk, a significant risk is reported in all ethnic backgrounds. Women in particular with a Caucasian or Asian background are at the highest risk. They are followed closely by African-American and Hispanic women. Hispanic women in the United States are the fastest growing group of women developing the disease.
Being small and thin
Your size of your bones does matter. If you are small boned, to begin with, you do not have as much bone mass to start with thus increasing your risk factor for osteoporosis.
If your mother or grandmother has had osteoporosis or broken bones, you are mostly to do so as well. This has not determined to be purely genetic but a possible result of eating a similar diet of food during the critical years of bone mass development most likely lack the proper amount of calcium and other nutrients.
People who have a low calcium intake, low vitamin D intake and low levels of vitamin K are much more likely to develop osteoporosis. Great you understand you need calcium, but what is the deal with vitamin D?
Vitamin D is what allows calcium to leave the intestines in the body and enter the bloodstream. You need the calcium from your bloodstream for numerous essential body functions including proper muscle and nerve function. If you do not have enough for these processes first, your body robs it from your bones and does not build new bone leading to low bone density and osteoporosis. Vitamin K is what helps to move calcium from the bloodstream into the bone during the building process. Another dietary risk factor includes high caffeine and carbonated beverage intake. It is not so much about the caffeine or the carbonation but the replacement of dairy products and calcium-rich foods with these other substances that do little for the body.
An inactive lifestyle promotes bone loss. A moderate amount of stress and activity on the joints will help to build bone and increase bone mass. Exercise can also help with balance and core stability essential for good posture and helps to prevent falls. Over excising can be just as bad as no exercise. It sometimes leads to low levels of body fat from unhealthy dieting and increased levels of estrogen resulting in the bone mass loss.
We all know that smoking is bad for you. It is a primary risk factor it seems like in every preventable disease out there. Several of the latest studies have shown that the toxins in cigarettes are poisonous to bone and tissues. Smoking also seems to reduce the body’s ability to absorb calcium and other vital nutrients for bone development. No matter what the cause is, the effect of smoking on osteoporosis is notable including rapid bone loss and much higher rates of hip and vertebral fractures.
Too much alcohol on a regular basis in women can lead to irregular cycles and estrogen issues. This can then lead to an increased risk of osteoporosis. In men, alcohol abuse has been shown to be related to low testosterone levels. The low testosterone levels have been shown to correlate with a slowed production of bone rebuilding in the body.
Other Diseases and Conditions
There are so many other risk factors for osteoporosis including certain types of medications including steroids, glucocorticoids and some anticonvulsants. Other risk factors including other diseases and conditions including depression, menopause, Crohn’s disease, colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, hypertension, amenorrhea, hypogonadism, hyperparathyroidism, anorexia, lupus, fibromyomata, and hypercalciuria. These diseases and conditions related to osteoporosis will be discussed individually in a future posting.
Some risk factors, there is nothing you can do about but other you can. Make lifestyle changes for the better – earlier is key. Knowing your risk factors for osteoporosis is vital for knowing what to look for and what to do now.
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