Osteoporosis risk factors include a number of things over which you have no control. These include:
1. Age. As you get older, bone is broken down faster than it is replaced.
2. Gender. Women have a greater risk of developing osteoporosis; however men can and do develop this condition.
3. Body type. Women who are slim and have thin bones have a greater level of risk. Taller women also have a greater risk of developing this condition.
4. Ethnicity. The highest risk races are Caucasians and Asians, regardless of gender.
5. Family History. If your family members have a history of fractures or osteoporosis, you are more likely to develop it.
There are also some osteoporosis risk factors over which you may have some control. If you smoke, stop. Avoid excessive alcohol consumption. If possible, get some exercise every day. Talk with your doctor about medications like anticonvulsants and glucocorticosteroids which can cause bone loss when taken for extended periods of time. If you have medical conditions that might predispose you to osteoporosis (eating disorders, hormonal imbalance, rheumatic disorders, etc.) be sure to have your bone mineral density monitored and take action when appropriate. Consume adequate amounts of vitamin D and calcium throughout your life time. Correct sex hormone deficiencies if present. Regular osteoporosis screening as recommended by your doctor is essential in reducing long term osteoporosis risk factors. Osteoporosis is considered a silent disease because it can progress with no noticeable symptoms until a bone is fractured or a vertebra collapses. Although premenopausal osteoporosis does occur it is often the result of a person not achieving optimal bone bass in their 20’s. Post menopausal osteoporosis is far more common because the reduction in estrogen production affects bone loss and growth. Osteoporosis exercises (weight bearing exercises) are an important tool in minimizing osteoporosis risk factors.