Various Factors Can Cause Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is defined as a systemic behavior which is characterized by decreased bone mass and deterioration of bone tissues. This makes the bones fragile and an increased susceptibility to fractures. Osteoporosis occurs due to low bone mineralization. According to the research, it is estimated that millions of people are living this disease and it is considered to be a serious public health issue due to its association with disability and pain.

Osteoporosis is considered to be a silent disease and the primary reason to it is that most often, this disease remains undiagnosed as it does not show any recognizable symptoms until an individual experiences fracture, followed by a minor fall. Some of the symptoms that occur as this disease progresses are as follows:

 Various Factors Can Cause Osteoporosis

  • Height loss
  • Sloping shoulders
  • A curve in the back
  • Back pain

Osteoporosis is associated with disability and pain which adversely affect an individual. It has been demonstrated that back pain associated with a vertebral fracture is one of the most important factors that impair the quality of life of the sufferer. There are many risk factors that cause bone loss and osteoporosis. Some of these things you can change and some you cannot. Here are some of the factors that increase the risk of developing osteoporosis.

Lifestyle Factors

There is no doubt in saying that good nutrition is vital for healthy bones and the two main nutrients that are considered for bone health are calcium and vitamin D. Lack of any of these two increases the risk of developing osteoporosis. Calcium acts as a major structural component of bone tissues and intake of adequate amount of calcium in the body is essential. There are many readily available sources of calcium in the diet such as tofu, nuts, and green vegetables. Vitamin D is also important for the development and maintenance of bones. Exposure to sunlight is the most source of vitamin D.

The health problems that are caused by cigarette smoking are well known. But, it is known to few that cigarette smoking acts as a risk factor for bone fracture and osteoporosis. There are various mechanisms that prove that cigarette smoking increases the risk of osteoporosis, such as smoking is associated with changes in hormones i.e decrease in estrogen and an increase in cortisol, which is linked to low body mass. Also, smoking reduces the level of vitamin D in the human body and vitamin D is one of the most important hormones required for the development and maintenance of bone health.

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Multiple studies have demonstrated that long term consumption of alcohol interferes with bone health and leads to decreased bone density and an increased risk of fracture. It is well known that calcium is vital for bone health and excessive consumption of alcohol can disrupt the level of calcium in the body. This occurs because alcohol affects the hormones that regulate the metabolism of calcium. There as many other pathways as well that states that consumption of excessive alcohol is an important risk factor for the development of osteoporosis.


Yes, gender is one of the risk factors of osteoporosis. There are many pieces of evidence that suggest that women are more likely to suffer from osteoporosis as compared to males. Women are two times more likely to have osteoporosis than men. The primary reason for this is that women have less bone mass than men and they lose bone mass faster and sooner than men. The risk of developing osteoporosis increases with advancing age and in women, it is most common after menopause, between the ages of 45 and 55. After menopause, there is a decrease in the production of the hormone estrogen, which is important in keeping the bones strong.  

Medical Conditions

There are certain medical conditions that increase the risk of developing osteoporosis. Many times patients having diseases are also found to be suffering from osteoporosis. Some of the medical conditions that increase the risk include hyperthyroidism, diabetes, and celiac disease.

Hyperthyroidism is a condition which occurs when the thyroid gland becomes overactive and produces thyroid hormone more than required by the body. Although thyroid hormones are vital for the functioning of the human body, variations in the level of hormones cause problems. Normally, the bone is continuously broken down and is replaced by the cells and each cycle takes around 200 days. But in patients having hyperthyroidism, this process occurs too rapidly and a result, the bone-building cells are unable to replace the bone fast enough. This leads to an increased rate of bone loss and an increased risk of developing osteoporosis.

Diabetes Mellitus is another medical condition that is associated with an increased risk of low body mass and the development of osteoporosis. Diabetes mellitus is a disease which occurs when the glucose level in the blood becomes too high and to such an extent that it affects the quality of life of the patient. Diabetes mellitus is associated with various complications and osteoporosis is one of them. Many times, the high sugar level in the blood affect the nerves and leads to the occurrence of many problems, including vision problems. This increases the risk of falling that can make the bones weak.  

There is a strong relationship between celiac disease and the development of osteoporosis. In fact, osteoporosis is said to be the complication of untreated or progressive celiac disease. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease which occurs when an individual having celiac disease eats gluten, their body causes the immune response and attacks the small intestine. The relationship between the celiac disease and osteoporosis is that celiac disease affects the small intestine and small intestine is responsible for absorbing some important nutrients that are important to maintain bone health, such as calcium. Calcium is essential to keep bones healthy.


Genetics play an important role in the development of osteoporosis. This means that the risk of having this disease increases to a great extent if there is any family history related to it. When one or both parents have osteoporosis, a child is more likely to have osteoporosis.  

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