Updated: Jan 21, 2021
You can grow tall for sure.. But can you grow short, or do you even want to?
The word “osteoporosis” literally means “porous bones.” With osteoporosis, bones become weak and brittle—so brittle that even mild stresses, such as bending over to pick up a book, pushing a vacuum, or coughing, can cause a fracture.
osteoporosis is not an inevitable part of aging. With identification of the major causes of the disease and their risk factors, osteoporosis can be detected early and treated. Moreover, a greater understanding of the role of nutrients and hormones and new and continually emerging medications are raising hopes for prevention of the disease. How do you assess your personal chances for getting osteoporosis? Listed below are several risk factors that
should be considered and evaluated:
Sex— One’s sex is the most significant indicator of risk. Fractures from osteoporosis are about twice as common in women as in men. Women build less bone than men by early adulthood. Women also generally consume less calcium than men. Prolonged calcium deficiency is a risk. Moreover, studies have documented a tendency for low calcium intake among adolescent girls—a time at which calcium is especially needed for bone development.
Family history —Having a mother or sister with the disease may increase your risk.
Race—Whites are at greatest risk, followed by Hispanics and Asians. African-Americans have the lowest risk. Whites have a higher risk because they generally attain a lower peak bone mass than the others.
Age—The older an individual, the higher the risk for osteoporosis. Small body frame—In general, the smaller the body frame, the thinner the bone.
Lifestyle choices—Smoking increases bone loss, perhaps by decreasing the amount of estrogen the body makes and reducing the absorption of calcium in the intestine. In addition, women smokers tend to enter menopause earlier than nonsmokers—a significant risk factor in itself. Consumption of too much caffeine or alcohol can lead to bone loss.
A sedentary lifestyle is a risk factor. Weightbearing physical activity strengthens bones.
Prolonged calcium deficiency does not merely mean that newly consumed calcium is not going into the bones. Because the body also needs calcium circulating in the blood, it will “rob” calcium from the bones to provide adequate calcium in the blood.
Estrogen deficiency—The less a woman’s lifetime exposure to estrogen, the higher her risk for osteoporosis. For example, a woman will have a higher risk if she has an
early menopause or began menstruating at a later age. Early menopause due to surgical removal of the ovaries also increases the risk for osteoporosis.