While osteoporosis can affect anyone, women suffer from the disease much more often. By the age of 65, almost 5 times more women than men show signs of the disease. Minor stresses that were once no issue can now lead to bone breaks. Osteoporosis can cause vertebrae in the back and neck to collapse, and falls can lead to fractures in osteoporosis-weakened hips and wrists.
Alexandra Pellicena, M.D., FACOG, an experienced gynecologist offers osteoporosis treatment and is your partner in slowing the advance of bone deterioration. Visit Dr. Pellicena’s office in northwest Houston if you’re at risk of developing osteoporosis. You can also learn more about osteoporosis, including some of its most common causes, below.
Signs of osteoporosis
Unfortunately, there’s typically no warning sign when a loss of bone density starts to occur. If you wait for symptoms of osteoporosis, your first hint of the condition may be a bone fracture. Many people remain unaware that osteoporosis has started until they notice they’re not as tall or their posture becomes stooped due to the collapse of vertebrae. This may or may not have accompanying back pain.
Bone breaks may happen even though you didn’t have a heavy impact or injury. Taking preventive action against the results of osteoporosis means recognizing the risk factors that contribute to the development of the disease.
8 causes of osteoporosis
There are some osteoporosis risk factors about which you can do nothing, such as being female or having a family history of the condition. Other times, the loss of bone density is a secondary condition of a disease. Sometimes, your lifestyle choices could lead to osteoporosis. Here are 8 of the most common reasons why your bone health may be at risk.
Bone density is, in part, a condition influenced by need. If you exercise, work out or participate in athletics, bones stay strong to support your activity. Those who lead inactive lifestyles may find that the lack of weight-bearing activity leads to bone density loss.
Tobacco and excessive alcohol use
Tobacco use has been linked to osteoporosis, though the exact connection is not fully understood. People who regularly drink more than two alcoholic beverages daily also have an increased risk of the disease.
Reaction to medications
Long-term corticosteroid use increases the risk of osteoporosis, as do medications used to treat cancer, seizures, and acid reflux.
Low dietary calcium
Calcium intake through your diet is critical for bone health throughout your life. Low calcium intake deprives you of an important building block for your skeleton. People who have eating disorders or those who’ve had gastrointestinal surgery may also have difficulty absorbing calcium.
Low levels of estrogen in women and testosterone in men can lead to declining bone density.
Overproduction of certain hormones in your thyroid, parathyroid, and adrenal gland can lead to osteoporosis.
People of Asian and Caucasian descent naturally have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis.
Age and gender
The older you get, the greater the risk of lost bone density, with women frequently being more seriously affected.
But there is something you and your doctor can do. Calcium and vitamin supplementation, weight-bearing exercising, and prescription medications can improve your osteoporosis and lead to a better quality of life.
As you can see, having more than one osteoporosis risk factor is fairly common. If you have one or more of these underlying causes, even if you haven’t shown any sign of lost bone density yet, contact Alexandra Pellicena, M.D., FACOG by phone or online to schedule an appointment. The time to prevent osteoporosis is before the trouble begins, so book your consultation now.