What Causes Osteoporosis?
Most people consider their bones to be strong and able to support a significant amount of weight or stress. However, bones can weaken for a variety of reasons. When they do, their ability to withstand even minor weight or stress is affected. The results of this weakening can include continuous pain, frequent fractures, and even a loss of height. This condition is known as osteoporosis.
In this article, we’ll explore how your bones develop over time and the factors that can weaken them. We’ll also describe a few known risk factors as well as preventative measures you can take today in order to prevent the condition.
The Nature Of Bones
At the heart of osteoporosis is bone density – or, more specifically, a lack of it. Normally, the density of your bones is influenced by the amount of calcium and other minerals within them. If there is a healthy supply of these minerals, your bones will have enough density to support your frame. If there is a deficiency of these minerals, they will weaken.
Our bones are constantly changing through a process called “remodeling.” Old bone is replaced by new bone. When we’re young, the new bone that is created has a higher density than the bone it replaces. As a result, our skeletal structure becomes stronger with age. However, when we reach our 30’s, the new bone that is created lacks the density of our younger years. Eventually, it becomes less dense than the bone it replaces.
The likelihood of developing osteoporosis is directly linked to the level of density our bones enjoyed up until our 30’s. The higher the density, the lower the likelihood. Of course, there are other factors that can place you at risk.
Factors That Place You At Risk
Age is obviously a factor since bone remodeling after our 30’s continues to weaken our skeletal structure. Gender and ethnicity are also factors; women are more susceptible than men and Hispanics, African Americans, and Asians are more susceptible than Caucasians. There is also a connection between osteoporosis and genetics, certain types of medications, and an inactive lifestyle. Plus, doctors suspect that long-term smoking can further weaken the bones.
How To Prevent The Condition
Calcium and vitamin D are critical. Young people should have a rich source of both in order to build bone mass early. However, even patients who already suffer from can benefit. Calcium and vitamin D can slow the rate at which your bones lose density through remodeling. You should also exercise regularly, including both cardiovascular and weight-training activity in your workout routine. Besides avoiding tobacco, limit the amount of alcohol you consume. Researchers believe that excessive amounts can prevent your bones from properly absorbing calcium.
Once it develops, osteoporosis progressively grows worse. Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to slow its effects. Have your doctor test you in order to check whether the condition is present. The earlier a loss of bone density is diagnosed, the sooner you can begin taking measures to compensate.