Depending on the cause, osteoporosis can be either primary or secondary.
Osteoporosis can develop as a result of natural bone loss – your bones thin and weaken as you age. This is known as primary osteoporosis. Other factors that may influence your risk of osteoporosis and fractures are as follows:
- Gender – Due to low oestrogen levels, women lose significant amounts of bone during the first few years after menopause. Women are especially vulnerable to osteoporosis as a result of this.
- Body size – Women with smaller body sizes have smaller and thinner bones, making osteoporosis more likely.
- Family history – If your parents have had osteoporosis-related fractures, your chances of developing osteoporosis are higher. Your chances are increased if your mother had a hip fracture.
Your way of life can also have an impact on your bone health. You may be at risk of developing osteoporosis if you do any of the following:
- You haven’t gotten enough calcium and vitamin D your entire life, you live an inactive lifestyle, and you don’t exercise.
- Drink a lot of coffee, soft drinks, energy drinks, or other caffeine-containing beverages (more than 4 cups a day)
- Consume an excessive amount of alcohol (more than 2 drinks a day on a regular basis)
- Cigarette smoking
Some medical conditions or diseases can affect your bone health. Furthermore, certain medications, such as steroids, have the ability to either decrease or increase bone formation. Secondary osteoporosis is the result of such circumstances. Secondary osteoporosis affects more than half of all men with osteoporosis, and it affects about 20-30% of menopausal women.
The primary goal of osteoporosis patients is to avoid fractures. Even if you have osteoporosis, it is never too late to take charge of your bones. Your doctor may recommend medication to prevent bone loss and increase bone formation and density. Consult your doctor if you aren’t already exercising about increasing bone mass through weight-bearing exercises and weight-training. To avoid falling, take safety precautions. All of these things will help to reduce your risk of fracture. If you have any of the following conditions, your risk of osteoporosis may increase:
- Medications – Long-term use of certain drugs can lead to loss of bone density. A class of drugs known as glucocorticoids (e.g. prednisone) is most commonly associated with secondary osteoporosis. Other high-risk medications include aromatase inhibitors (used for breast cancer) or androgen deprivation therapy (used for prostate cancer).
- Hyperparathyroidism or hyperthyroidism and other illnesses that affect the endocrine system.
- Crohn’s disease or celiac disease or other gastrointestinal (digestive) tract diseases.
- Liver diseases.
- Premature menopause (i.e. menopause before 45 years of age).
- Hypogonadism – Hypogonadism is a medical term referring to little or no production of hormones by your sex glands. Low testosterone in men and the absence of menstrual periods in younger women may lead to osteoporosis.
Can my bones become healthy again?
Osteoporosis patients’ primary goal is to avoid fractures. Even if you have osteoporosis, it is not too late to take control of your bones. Your doctor may advise you to take medication to prevent bone loss and increase bone formation and density. If you aren’t already exercising, consult your doctor about increasing bone mass through weight-bearing exercises and weight-training. Take safety precautions to avoid falling. All of these things will help to lower your fracture risk.