Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones. Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and brittle. People have bone loss (the amount of minerals, such as calcium, that your body absorbs (takes) from your bones) for many years without any symptoms.
Who gets osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis affects more women than men (especially older women). Women are more likely to get osteoporosis because:
- Women often live longer than men. Bone loss happens naturally as we age.
- Women also lose more bone mass after menopause with very low levels of the hormone estrogen. Higher estrogen levels before menopause help protect bone density.
Are some women more at risk?
Yes. The risk for osteoporosis is higher if you:
- Are past menopause. After menopause, your ovaries make very little of the hormone estrogen. Estrogen helps protect bone density. Some women lose up to 25% of bone mass in the first 10 years after menopause.
- Have a small or thin body (weigh less than 127 pounds)
- Have a family history of osteoporosis
- Do not get enough calcium and vitamin D. Calcium and vitamin D work together to build and maintain strong bones.
- Do not get enough physical activity. Women of all ages need to get regular physical activity to help build and maintain bone density.
- Have an eating disorder. Eating disorders, especially anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, can weaken your bones. Anorexia can also lead to amenorrhea.
- Smoke and drink
- Have a health problem that raises the risk for osteoporosis, such as diabetes , premature ovarian failure and depression
- Take certain medicines to treat long-term health problems, such as arthritis, asthma, lupus, or thyroid disease.
I will be talking further about Osteoporosis in the upcoming blog. Stay connected.