Osteoporosis is a silent disease that causes bones to thin and weaken, increasing the risk of fractures. It can happen to anyone, but affects women at a much higher percentage than men.
You’re more likely to develop osteoporosis if you’re over 50 or a postmenopausal woman. This is not to say that others aren’t at risk of developing it.
If you’re concerned about bone loss, it’s wise to have your bone density checked and discuss risk factors with a health care provider. Trusted internal medicine physician and endocrinology specialist Dr. Sam Morayati performs in-office dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scans to check bone density.
This quick and painless test provides vital bone health information. Using your DEXA scan results, Dr. Morayati can tell you if you have low bone density, which puts you at risk for osteoporosis.
It’s important to identify your personal risks for osteoporosis and to discuss them with Dr. Morayati. Here are five:
1. Low sex hormone levels
Estrogen plays a role in preventing bone loss and keeping your bones strong. This is why women are at a higher risk of osteoporosis after menopause. This is a time when estrogen drops dramatically. After menopause, you’re no longer getting the protective effect of estrogen.
Post menopausal women lose bone at a faster rate, putting you at a higher risk of osteoporosis and osteopenia. If you’ve gone through menopause and are concerned about your bone health, talk to Dr. Morayati about it.
Tobacco use has been linked to decreased bone density. Cigarette smoking may increase the risk of osteoporosis in two ways; for starters, it can prevent your body from absorbing calcium, which is essential for bone health. As a result, your body does not utilize all of the calcium you eat. Cigarette smoking may also lower estrogen levels in women, leading to increased bone loss.
What’s more, people who smoke are often thinner than nonsmokers, drink more alcohol, may be less physically active, and have poor diets. Women who smoke also experience menopause earlier than nonsmokers.
Additionally, smoking increases the risk of fracture, and impairs bone healing after a fracture.
3. Lack of exercise
Keep in mind that your bones are composed of living tissue. At any given time, bone is being broken down and rebuilt. As a result, exercise strengthens both muscles and bones. If your lifestyle finds you doing mostly sedentary activities, you’re at risk for bone loss.
Weight-bearing and resistance exercises are the best way to keep bones strong and ward off osteoporosis. These types of exercises increase bone density and can reduce bone loss if you’re diagnosed with osteoporosis or osteopenia.
4. Drinking excess alcohol
Drinking too much alcohol is linked to bone loss. It appears that this has a significant impact during adolescence and early adulthood. This is a critical period for increasing bone mass. Unfortunately, it’s also the most typical time that people may pick up the habit of drinking alcohol and may be prone to excessive drinking. If you’re a woman, it’s important to avoid drinking more than one alcoholic beverage per day. I
5. Calcium and vitamin D deficiency
Calcium and vitamin D are two of the most crucial nutrients for bone health. The vast majority of calcium in your body is stored in your teeth and bones. If you don't get enough calcium from your diet to perform essential functions, your body may steal it from your bones, which can lead to bone loss.
As you can see, many osteoporosis risk factors are within your control. Work with Dr. Morayati to keep your bones as healthy as possible. Schedule a visit at our Burlington, North Carolina, clinic by calling or requesting an appointment online today.