What causes osteoporosis?
The condition, which affects millions of women and men worldwide, is caused by the reduction or lack of the natural amounts of calcium and protein that the body needs to effectively repair bones. Once this happens, the bones become porous or less dense. When this happens, bones are more prone to fracture.
The causes of osteoporosis
The causes of osteoporosis primarily stem from hereditary conditions, but it can also be caused by a lack of exercise, certain medications, trauma to the hip, excessive weight or obesity, and the wearing out of the bone. Symptoms of a fracture may not show up for some time, and then suddenly a person suffers a major hip fracture. Hip fractures commonly involve either the front or side of the hip. These symptoms often come on very quickly and include pain and swelling in the hip region, difficulty walking, and fractures that are visible to the naked eye.
Hip fractures are the most common types of osteoporosis and if left untreated can cause serious bone loss and disabilities. However, if caught early enough, treatment for osteoporosis can often stop these severe fractures. It’s important to be seen by a doctor right away when you start to experience pain, swelling, and fractures of the hips or legs. The sooner that a fracture is treated, the better chance there is of avoiding extensive bone loss or disability.
Types of osteoporosis
The good news about what causes osteoporosis is that the odds of developing the condition are genetic. If your mother or grandmother developed the condition, you are more likely to have the disorder. However, if your family has a history of serious fractures, it’s important to have your doctor check your family history and determine if you have a higher risk of fractures. If you do have a family history of osteoporosis, you are encouraged to watch your body weight and your diet carefully, as these factors can also contribute to your chances of fracture.
Another thing that causes osteoporosis is low bone density, especially after you are forty years old. As you age, the amount of bone you need to support your weight decreases, which means that you will lose bone mass as you age. Women often experience the condition before menopause, which is why they are more likely to develop osteoporosis than women who haven’t had the condition as long as men. However, studies show that women who have menopausal symptoms and have low bone density at the same time are at a greater risk of developing osteoporosis.
Women who smoke cigarettes, have young children, or take medications that weaken their bones are at a greater risk of developing osteoporosis. Smoking, as well as recreational drugs such as marijuana and heroin can weaken the bones. People who consume large amounts of alcohol are also at a greater risk because alcohol weakens the bones and contributes to a higher level of estrogen. A sedentary lifestyle, high fat diet, and low calcium and vitamin D intake can also cause osteoporosis.