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Osteoporosis — Prevention and Risk Factors

There are several factors that can determine your risk for developing osteoporosis. Some of these risk factors are within a person’s control where prevention is concerned while other factors are out of your hands including:

Age – your risk factor for osteoporosis increases as you get older.

Gender – both men and women are at risk for developing osteoporosis but women are at higher risk.

Race – Caucasians and Asians have been found to be at higher risk for developing osteoporosis.

Family History – those who have parents, brothers, or sisters that developed osteoporosis may also develop the condition.

Height/Frame Type – those of shorter stature/smaller frame size may be susceptible to osteoporosis because they have less bone mass especially as they age.

Some of the potentially controllable osteoporosis risk factors include the levels of hormone in the body such as estrogen and testosterone. For those with too much thyroid hormone in the body, bone loss can occur. Over-activity in the other glands of the body such as the adrenal gland can also contribute to osteoporosis.

Poor lifestyle habits can also contribute to bones loss including lack of daily activity, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, and smoking. Medications for seizures, depression, gastric reflux, and cancer can also cause bone loss over continued use. To ensure bone health is a consideration in your daily life, you should get sufficient amounts of calcium and Vitamin D in your daily diet. You should also get daily exercise to ensure strong bones and limit the amount of bone loss you experience.

Your doctor can recommend the right dietary and exercise practices necessary to prevent osteoporosis based on your age, gender, and family history. Dietary changes may be necessary to add more calcium and Vitamin D into your daily intake including dairy products and leafy green produce. A supplement may be necessary but only take one if recommended by your doctor. Exercises including walking and strength training should be incorporated into each day based on your abilities.

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