Osteoporosis Prevention section

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    The silent disease osteoporosis is associated with a weakening of bones due to a loss of bone mineral density. There are many things that affect bone density such as genetics and ones life style.

    Risk factors that may lead to osteoporosis

    In post menopausal women some of the factors that may increase the risk of developing osteopenia or osteoporosis include.

    1. Previous adult fractures
    2. Low body weight: less than 9 stones; 57 kg; 127 pounds.
    3. Family History
    4. Smoking
    5. Excessive alcohol consumption
    6. Lack of exercise
    7. Bad diet: low calcium and vitamins
    8. Prolonged corticosteroid use
    9. Estrogen deficiency before the age of 45
    10. Medical conditions: Stroke, inflamed bowels, gastrectomy, amyloidosis

    One of the greatest risk factors related to osteoporosis is the incidence of fractures in adult life. If a person has broken a bone in a non high input accident then it suggests that something may be wrong with the density of bones. It therefore may be worth asking for a bone mineral density test.

    The same applies if you take medications that are known to have an impact on bone density such as corticosteroids, immunosuppressents and anticonvulsants. Your doctor should be aware of the risks associated with these and other medications with regards to bone density and will likely recommend a check when prescribing these medications for a prolonged period.

    It can be seen from the above list that many of the things that affect the risk of getting osteoporosis are life style related, taking simple steps such as a load bearing exercise program, and following a calcium rich diet can help to lower the risk of getting osteoporosis dramatically. Other harder lifestyle changes such as giving up smoking or drinking can also make a large difference.

    Mayes (2007) Review of post menopausal osteoporosis pharmacology. Nutr. Clin. Prac. 22:3: 276 to 285
    National Osteoporosis Foundation. (2003:7) ’s Guide to Prevention and Treatment of Osteoporosis.