To prevent osteoporosis later in life, we must understand the risk factors associated with osteoporosis.
Several risk factors can lead to osteoporosis.
Old age. As we age, the process of bone remodeling (or bone growth) slows down naturally. This increases the risk for osteoporotic fractures.
Gender. Women are more at risk than men because of their naturally smaller bones and lower bone density.
Personal and family history of fractures. An increased risk of osteoporosis can be indicated by a personal history of fractures or fragility fractures during adulthood (past 45). The risk of osteoporosis is also higher if the parents (especially the mother) have had osteoporosis and fragility fractures.
Low bone density is a genetic predisposition. Peak bone mass can be reached between the ages of 18 and 25. This is due to genetic factors. In particular, genetic factors significantly influence how vitamin D is received by the body. A person with less vitamin D may experience a slower bone growth process, increasing their risk of developing osteoporosis.
Menopause. Menopause is when estrogen levels change. Lower estrogen levels can affect bone remodeling and speed up the rate of bone loss. This causes decreased bone strength and increases the risk of fracture.
Females’ history of menstruation. A slightly higher chance of osteoporosis can be caused by light menstruation or early menopause.
Low testosterone levels in men. Low testosterone levels can lead to osteoporosis and bone loss in men.
Race and Ethnicity. Osteoporosis may occur in people of all races and ethnicities. However, the risk is higher for Asians and Whites, especially those of Northern European descent. Non-Hispanic White women and Asian women are more at risk of osteoporosis.
These risk factors cannot be controlled. People with risk factors should talk to their physician about early screening and diagnostic testing.
4 Lifestyle Factors that Increase the Risk of Osteoporosis
A few risk factors that can be controlled or managed for osteoporosis include:
- How you eat. Healthy bone growth requires a balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D. Low vitamin D and calcium intake can harm bone health.
- Get active. Sedentary lifestyles are a significant risk factor for osteoporosis. It is crucial to maintain a healthy bone structure by exercising regularly throughout your life. Mainly, weight-bearing exercise can result in adaptations in bone growth which increase bone density and strength.
- Alcoholism can lead to excessive alcohol consumption. Excessive alcohol use throughout your life can cause problems with bone remodeling and eventually lead to weaker bones.
- Nicotine intake. Nicotine is a toxin that inhibits bone growth. Women who smoke are more likely to develop osteoporosis than non-smoking women. Smoking cigarettes, mainly if it is prolonged, can increase the risk of osteoporosis.
Your physician will recommend ways to encourage healthy eating habits and exercise that lower the risk of developing osteoporosis later in life. If someone already has risk factors, it is essential to establish healthy lifestyle habits.
Prevention of Osteoporosis Complications
Many preventative measures can make primary osteoporosis less likely. These measures can include lifestyle and daily habits that promote healthy bones, even if you are not in the average age range for osteoporosis. Regular exercise and a healthy diet rich in nutrients are two examples.
It is essential to take care of the underlying condition to reduce the chance of secondary osteoporosis.
For comprehensive care, a team of specialists and doctors may be able to provide care that addresses long-term side effects of high-risk medications and conditions.