You may not realise you have osteoporosis until you have a fracture. Osteoporosis makes your bones brittle and weak. The brittle bones are prone to fractures even with a mild fall or minor stress like bending over or coughing.
How can you figure out your risk for osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is linked to numerous risk factors including age, gender, family history and medical conditions.
Here are a few irreversible risk factors which are inevitable.
- Age - The risk of osteoporosis increases with age. As you grow older, the higher is your risk.
- Gender - Women are more likely to suffer from osteoporosis than men.
- Family History - If your parent or sibling suffers from osteoporosis, then you are at a higher risk of developing the same disease.
- Lifestyle - If you are someone who is obese with a small body frame, then you have a higher risk of suffering from osteoporosis. The bone mass is less and keeps decreasing as you age. This can cause reduced bone mass to be drawn into the body.
- Dietary factors - A low calcium intake teamed up with an eating disorder can increase your risk of osteoporosis. Low calcium intake causes diminished bone density, premature bone loss and easy fractures. Eating disorders lead to significant weight loss thereby causing early bone loss and an increased risk of fractures. If you have undergone a gastrointestinal surgery to resize your stomach or to remove a part of your intestines, your body’s limit to absorb nutrients decreases.
- Lifestyle choices - People who have a sedentary lifestyle and who spend a lot of time sitting and working have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis. If you are an active person and are someone who does daily exercise, this helps promotes balance and good posture. This will benefit your bones and help in maintaining their good health. Excessive alcohol and tobacco use can contribute to weak bones thereby increasing your risk of osteoporosis.
Dr. Sunil Shahane (Head & Sr Consultant - Orthopaedics)
Dr. Sunil Shahane is the Head and Senior Consultant, Institute for Bone, Joint Replacement, Orthopaedics Spine and Sports Medicine. He has an experience of over 34 years and has done a Fellowship in Arthritis and Joint Reconstruction surgery with Dr. C. S. Ranawat at Lenox Hill Hospital, New York, USA.