Osteoporosis causes

Osteoporosis is a condition where there is a thinning of the bones or bone loss. Bones normally continue to grow throughout life. When someone has osteoporosis bone loss outpaces the growth of new bone. The bones then become brittle and begin to fracture easily. This condition is common in elderly women that are frail. Up to 80% of all the people who have osteoporosis are female. There is an estimated 10 million people in the U.S who have osteoporosis and statistics show that another 18 million more are at risk for developing this disease. Roughly 14% of all Caucasian and Asian women in the U.S. between the ages of 50 and 59 have osteoporosis. The chances for women having this disease increase with each decade after the age of 50. By the time women reach the age of 80 an estimated 70% will have osteoporosis.

There are many osteoporosis causes. One of the main causes is an inadequate amount of calcium intake in the daily diet. Calcium is needed to build strong bones, but there are other causes for osteoporosis too. According to certain medical doctors osteoporosis can also be caused by estrogen deficiency associated with menopause. After menopause bone loss accelerates rapidly as soon as there is a sudden drop in estrogen levels. As women age the risk for bone fractures increases. Medical studies also show that young, thin, athletic women who stop menstruating also experience bone loss and can eventually develop osteoporosis. Women who undergo surgical removal of the ovaries will also experience bone loss. In fact, there is a 54% increase in the incidence of spine, hip and wrist fractures in women who have had hysterectomies as in those who are post menopausal. Testosterone deficiency in men is also listed among the many osteoporosis causes.

Other osteoporosis causes include:

  • Not enough growth hormone and parathyroid hormones being produced by the body. These hormones help the body absorb adequate amount so calcium needed to build strong healthy bones.
  • Phosphorus is another mineral that the body needs to grow healthy bones. Too little phosphorus is listed as another one of the osteoporosis causes. A good diet can supply enough of this mineral.
  • Another one of the osteoporosis causes is vitamin D deficiency. If there is not enough vitamin D intake the result can be weakened bones and bone loss. Vitamin D is needed to help the body to absorb calcium as well.
  • Not getting enough exercise may also lead to bone loss. A sedentary lifestyle is common among the elderly. Weight bearing exercise can help to reduce the risk of osteoporosis in the elderly.
  • Smoking is another cause. Smokers often have lower bone density and suffer from bone fractures more than non-smokers. The reason is that smoking can interfere with the body’s absorption and the ability to use estrogen and vitamin D properly.
  • The use of corticosteroids like cortisone, hydrocortisone, glucocortisoids and prednisone. Bone loss is listed as a side effect for these medications which are taken for asthma, arthritis, psoriasis and other such conditions. Certain anti seizure drugs can also cause bone loss.
  • Various diseases and medical conditions can also cause osteoporosis. These would be diseases like digestive diseases, cystic fibrosis, and diseases that cause bone tumors.
  • Alcohol abuse. People who are alcoholics are at high risk for osteoporosis because alcohol can actually increase bone loss by retarding natural bone growth. People who abuse alcohol are at a higher risk for bone fractures because intoxication can lead to falls, which may cause a fracture.

Preventing osteoporosis can be largely successful if you make certain lifestyle changes. The list of osteoporosis causes can help people take steps to correct their lifestyle habits which will help reduce the incidence of osteoporosis. This means improving the diet, getting daily exercise and stopping the use of cigarettes and alcohol. These changes can help reduce or slow down bone loss. Hormone replacement therapy can also be used to lower your changes of osteoporosis as one grows older as well.

Last updated on Aug 18th, 2010 and filed under Musculoskeletal Disorders. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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