May 8, 2022
5 Risk Factors for Osteoporosis That You Should Know
Bone loss and reduced bone density can affect adults of any age, but it becomes more prominent as people near their senior years. While this is a natural component of the aging process, the condition can advance and lead to osteoporosis. This condition, which leaves the bones frail and brittle, can be predicted or prevented by knowing the risk factors.
1. Family History
One of the first things to look at is the bone health in your family history since weak bones and osteoporosis can be passed down. If you have a parent or sibling with osteoporosis, you should expect to experience problems with bone strength and density. Even if no one in your family has been diagnosed with the condition, pay attention to minor accidents that result in bone breaks. This indicates a pattern of poor bones in your family.
2. Substance Use
A lifestyle choice that can adversely affect your bones is the use of tobacco and alcohol. Regular smoking leads to the faster loss of bone density in adults, and bone loss can occur at an earlier age for heavier smokers. Additionally, heavy drinkers (men who consume more than two drinks per day and women who have more than one drink a day) experience inhibited bone growth. They are also more likely to experience falls that lead to bone breaks.
3. Sedentary Lifestyle
You may not realize it, but a lack of exercise is negatively impacting the strength and density of your bones. Fortunately, you can easily rectify this problem by getting a minimum of 30 to 45 minutes of exercise each day. If you join a gym, you can benefit from the expertise of a personal trainer. Otherwise, talk to your doctor about taking up jogging, bicycling, or swimming. As you start exercising and make it a regular routine, you’ll build more muscle, strengthen your bones, and improve your balance and coordination.
4. Poor Diet
As a general rule, you should be eating a primarily plant-based diet to benefit from the vitamins and nutrients found in fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts. You can find a meal plan service that will deliver healthy meals to your door if you feel unable to prepare healthy meals at home. In particular, look for foods that are rich in calcium and vitamin D since these compounds are essential to bone growth and better bone density.
5. Medical Care
Certain medical conditions and treatments can raise your risks for osteoporosis by causing a thinning of the bones. For example, someone who has hyperthyroidism or hyperparathyroidism faces an increased risk for osteoporosis. Some prescription medications, such as corticosteroids, can also put you at a greater risk for bone loss. Be sure to discuss this possibility when your doctor prescribes a new medication. Premenopausal women who have their ovaries removed also face a higher risk of bone loss and osteoporosis.
If you are concerned about your bone health, you should discuss your situation with your doctor. A physician can conduct tests to determine the condition of your bones. They can also recommend lifestyle changes that can help you to better protect your bones from damage.