Your bones may become brittle and weak if you have osteoporosis. Whether men or women, it can affect anyone. But according to the National Health Service, women are at higher risk of developing the disease than men. Indeed, the hormonal changes that occur during the menopause phase affect bone density. According to the NHS, the female hormone estrogen is very important for bone health. During menopause, estrogen levels drop, which can lead to decreased bone density. It’s not that. Certain medical conditions can increase your risk of osteoporosis! On World Osteoporosis Day, which falls on October 20, let’s explore the connection between medical conditions and osteoporosis.
What is osteoporosis?
It is a medical condition in which the bones become weak due to a decrease in bone mass and density, says Dr Sunilkumar Singh, Consultant, Rheumatology Surgeon at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Mumbai . The bones become so fragile that they become more susceptible to fractures. As we age, our bones naturally lose density, but in osteoporosis, this loss accelerates and can lead to an increased risk of fractures, particularly in the spine, hip and wrist.
Medical conditions that increase the risk of osteoporosis
Several medical conditions or illnesses can increase the risk of osteoporosis. These include:
1. Rheumatoid arthritis
It is an autoimmune disease that primarily targets your joints. Chronic inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis can lead to bone loss, increasing the risk of osteoporosis.
It is a condition that occurs when the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone. Excess thyroid hormones can accelerate bone loss, making bones weaker and more prone to fractures, the expert says.
3. Celiac disease
Another autoimmune disease, celiac disease, is a condition in which gluten consumption can lead to damage to the small intestine. This can interfere with the absorption of calcium and vitamin D, which are essential nutrients for bone health.
4. Chronic kidney disease
The kidneys play an important role in the balance of calcium and phosphate in the body. When kidney function is compromised, it can lead to imbalances that affect bone density.
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5. Eating Disorders
Whether it’s bulimia or anorexia nervosa, eating disorders can lead to malnutrition, affecting your bone health. A lack of essential nutrients can lead to decreased bone density and an increased risk of osteoporosis.
Ways to prevent osteoporosis
Preventing osteoporosis involves a combination of lifestyle choices as well as medical interventions.
A balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D is essential for strong bones. Dairy products, green leafy vegetables and fortified foods are good sources of calcium, while exposure to sunlight and adding oily fish to the diet can provide vitamin D.
Weight-bearing exercises such as walking, jogging, and resistance training can help maintain bone density and strength.
3. Avoid smoking and drinking excessively
Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, which are bad habits, can decrease bone density, increasing the risk of osteoporosis.
4. Limit caffeine and sodium
Excess caffeine and sodium can interfere with calcium absorption. You don’t have to stop having them. Just consume them in moderation.
5. Bone density test
Bone density tests can help detect early signs of bone loss. This will allow doctors to intervene in a timely manner.
Doctors can prescribe medications to prevent or treat osteoporosis. They work in various ways, such as slowing bone loss or increasing bone formation.
You should see a doctor if you think you have a high risk of developing osteoporosis.