Osteoporosis is a disease that can cause bones to become weak and brittle — so much so that even a simple fall or cough can cause a major fracture.
According to Mayo Clinic, a person’s likelihood of developing the disease is partially determined by how much bone mass their body made in their youth, along with other, unchangeable factors like older age, Caucasian and Asian ethnicity, small body frame and low weight, and family history.
In addition, people who are suffering or have suffered from a certain set of other medical problems, including the following, are more likely to develop osteoporosis:
Medical Conditions Linked to Osteoporosis
- Celiac disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Kidney or liver disease
- Multiple myeloma
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Problems with hormone levels, including low estrogen levels associated with menopause, or hormone inbalances due to an overactive thyroid, parathyroid gland, or adrenal gland
There are also causes of osteoporosis that are linked to dietary factors and lifestyle choices. Fortunately, knowing these causes can help a person who is at risk of osteoporosis to make healthy choices in order to lower their chances of developing the disease, or prevent a more-serious case.
Mayo Clinic states that osteoporosis is more likely to occur in people who have:
- Low calcium intake over a long period of time
- Eating disorders
- Gastrointestinal surgery which reduces the size of the stomach or removes part of the intestine, therefore “limiting the amount of surface area available to absorb nutrients, including calcium”
Habits that can increase a person’s risk of developing osteoporosis include:
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Excessive alcohol consumption, or regular consumption of more than two alcoholic drinks a day
- Tobacco use
Steroids and Other Medications
Finally, osteoporosis has been linked to the long-term use of certain medications, including oral or injected corticosteroid medications like prednisone and cortisone, which can interfere with bone growth. Osteoporosis has also been associated with medications used to treat or prevent the following conditions:
- Gastric reflux
- Transplant rejection
Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about your risk of developing osteoporosis. For more information about the disease, its symptoms, risk factors, or treatment, visit www.MayoClinic.org.