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7 Risk Factors of Osteoporosis

Did you know bones are living parts of the body? Every day our bodies are busy breaking down old bone cells and rebuilding them with new ones. It’s only natural with age for our bodies to begin slowing down. Many people will lose the capability to replace all of the bone lost over time – which is called osteoporosis. This chronic condition is when bone density decreases which can result in weaker bones and ultimately more broken bones. Osteoporosis-related fractures occur most in the spine, wrist and hip. It can also cause bone pain, reduction in height and a slumped posture.

Understanding your risk factors for osteoporosis, actively taking part in physical exercise and consuming a nutritious diet are keys in reducing the risk of osteoporosis.

What Are the Risk factors for Osteoporosis?

There are risk factors for osteoporosis that are both within your control and beyond your control. Some people are simply more susceptible to the disease than others. How likely are you to develop osteoporosis? It depends on how much bone mass you built up in your youth. Most adults reach their peak bone mass in their late 20s to early 30s. Here are seven common risk factors:

  1. Low calcium intake makes seniors at greater risk. But it can be improved and is within your control. Calcium is essential for healthy bones and a lifelong lack of it plays a role in the development of osteoporosis. Vitamin D is essential for calcium absorption. If you suspect you may not be getting enough vitamin D in your diet, visit your physician to have your vitamin D levels checked.
  2. Lifestyle choices can be made to also change the likelihood of getting the disease. A sedentary lifestyle leads to higher risk of osteoporosis. Any weight-bearing exercise and activities that promote balance and good posture are helpful to your bones. Walking is particularly helpful. Poor lifestyle choices that contribute to osteoporosis also include excessive alcohol consumption and tobacco use.
  3. Your gender is a risk factor that is out of your control. Women usually have lower peak bone mass than men which also tends to make women live longer than men. Women also experience a reduction in estrogen levels when menopause occurs and that can accelerate bone loss. That’s why osteoporosis is most common among postmenopausal women.
  4. In addition, once a woman has had a fracture, women are more likely than men to have another fracture. In a study based on almost 380,000 fractures in female Medicare beneficiaries, 10% had another fracture within 1 year, 18% within 2 years, and 31% within 5 years.
  5. Growing older and your age also increases the risk of osteoporosis. Once you reach your peak bone mass, it’s normal to begin losing a small percentage of bone mass each year. The internal structure of bone will begin to weaken, and the outer shell thins.
  6. Your family history can put you at a higher risk for the disease, especially if your mother, sister, grandmother or aunt had osteoporosis. Although family history can be a strong predictor of the disease, having a history of low bone mass does not automatically mean it will happen to you.
  7. Medical conditions. These health issues also put one at a higher risk, according to the Mayo Clinic:
    1. Cancer
    2. Celiac disease
    3. Inflammatory bowel disease
    4. Kidney or liver disease
    5. Lupus
    6. Multiple myeloma
    7. Rheumatoid arthritis
    8. Thyroid problems

Although this information may appear distressing, it’s important to know there are many risk factors for osteoporosis that you can control. Lamar Court Assisted Living community provides seniors in the Johnson County area with resources, programs, and nutrition to nurture health and well-being. If you suspect you or a loved one could benefit with care for osteoporosis or other senior medical problems, contact our skilled team. We’re expertly positioned to help. Feel free to call us at 913-906-9696 for a personal consultation and review of your senior living needs.