What are the Different Osteoporosis Causes?

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  • Written By: D. Jeffress
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 11 December 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
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Osteoporosis is a medical term referring to a lack of healthy, dense bone tissue. Individuals with osteoporosis may suffer from bone pain, frequent fractures, lower back problems, and poor posture. There are many different osteoporosis causes, including calcium, estrogen, and testosterone deficiencies, thyroid problems, smoking, a lack of physical activity, and certain medications. Doctors can prescribe pain medication, initiate hormone replacement therapy, and suggest lifestyle changes to slow the development and severity of osteoporosis.

One of the most prominent osteoporosis causes is a lack of calcium in the diet. Calcium is essential to the development and maintenance of strong, healthy bone tissue, muscles, and organs. When an individual does not take in enough calcium, reserves of the mineral are drawn from bones to supply muscles and organs. This causes bones to become less dense, brittle, and prone to fractures. An individual can usually begin to restore their calcium supplies by making simple dietary changes. Consuming dairy products, green vegetables, tofu, and other calcium rich foods promotes new bone growth and strengthens existing tissue.


Hormone deficiencies, especially estrogen and testosterone, are leading osteoporosis causes. Estrogen helps to solidify minerals and promote bone density, and both women and men with insufficient amounts of the hormone are subject to bone loss. Menopause, anorexia, menstruation problems, and genetic factors contribute to estrogen imbalances in women and resulting bone thinning over time. Healthy bones in men are highly dependent on their amount of testosterone, a hormone that is converted to bone-building estrogen. When men do not produce enough testosterone because of inherited conditions, steroid use, or illnesses, they are highly susceptible to osteoporosis.

Individuals who lead sedentary or unhealthy lifestyles are also at a high risk of developing bone problems. Regular exercise and a consistent, healthy diet are necessary to build strong muscles and bones. Able-bodied people can take easy steps to combat their osteoporosis causes, such as working out at a gym, taking regular walks, quitting smoking, and eating healthier foods. Individuals who are unable to increase their activity levels, including people who suffer from paralysis or debilitating diseases, may need to undergo surgery to reduce pain and bone thinning.

Some osteoporosis causes are more difficult to identify than diet deficiencies, lifestyle choices, and hormone imbalances. In some cases, osteoporosis can develop as a side effect to medication for other ailments. Drugs that are used to control allergies, asthma, arthritis, psoriasis, and a number of other conditions can deplete minerals in healthy bones and eventually lead to osteoporosis. An individual who experiences bone pain should consult his or her physician to determine if medications are contributing to the osteoporosis symptoms.



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