Top 10 Risk Factors For Osteoporosis

Are you at risk for developing osteoporosis? Over 34 billion Americans currently suffer from low bone density that can lead to osteoporosis and potentially deadly bone fractures. Now more than ever, we want to live long and healthy lives, and prolong our active and vibrant quality of life. Knowing whether you are at risk for developing osteoporosis can help you maintain your quality of life well into your senior years.

Anyone can develop osteoporosis, but research has shown that certain people have a higher risk of developing this disabling disease. Here are the top 10 risk factors:

1. Women have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis. Once a woman is post-menopausal, her risk increases further. Women who have an early or surgically-induced menopause are also at higher risk.

2. Women who are Caucasian or Asian are at a higher risk. If you are thin and have a small frame, your chances of developing osteoporosis increase.

3. Has your mother had a hip fracture or osteoporosis? If so, your risk of hip fracture is doubled.

4. A diet low in calcium, either as an adult or as a child, can increase your risk of developing osteoporosis.

5. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium. Lack of vitamin D is another risk factor for developing osteoporosis.

6. Smoking cigarettes interferes with the body's ability to absorb calcium.

7. Excessive alcohol consumption also makes it difficult for calcium to be absorbed. Bones will be weaker without sufficient calcium.

8. Lack of weight-bearing exercise, or if you have been unable to walk or exercise for an extended period of time can put you at risk.

9. Long-term use of certain medications can cause osteoporosis. If you have taken certain medications for asthma or arthritis, or have had chemotherapy treatments, check with your doctor to see if you are at risk for osteoporosis.

10. Eating disorders can lead to osteoporosis, because nutrients are not properly absorbed.

If you think you are at risk for developing osteoporosis, see your doctor. Although osteoporosis is a serious disease, there are ways to prevent osteoporosis and the fractures that can result. Your doctor can recommend changes in diet and exercise, regular bone density screenings, and medications that help increase bone density and prevent fractures.

Once you understand the risks of osteoporosis and can address them, you'll be on your way to living a healthy, active lifestyle no matter what your age.

Are you at risk for osteoporosis? Find out how healthy living and exercise can reduce your risk factors for osteoporosis!

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