What is Osteoporosis ? Causes and Prevention of Osteoporosis


Osteoporosis is considered a serious public health concern. If We know about the Osteoporosis causes and prevention, factor and symptoms of Osteoporosis, we can easily take some prevention, treatments and stay healthy, fit and happy in our life.  Currently, it is estimated that over 200 million people worldwide suffer from this disease.

It can occur in people of any age, but its more common in older adults especially women. More than 200 million people suffered Osteoporosis or are at high risk of developing it.

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a bone disease that occurs when the body loses too much bone, make too little bone or both. As a result, bones become weak and many breaks from a fall or in serious causes from sneezing or minor bumps. It means porous bones.

It is a disease in which bones deteriorate or become brittle and fragile due to low bone mass and bone tissue loss. This condition is often referred to as a silent disease because you ca n’t feel your bones getting weaker and many people do not know they have the condition until after they break the bone.

When Osteoporosis happens what you do

Osteoporosis happens when bone density decreases and the body stops producing as much bone as it did before.

Bones in your body are living tissues that constantly breakdown and replace themselves with new material with osteoporosis, your bones break down faster than they regrow. This causes them to become less dense, more porous and brittle.

This weakens your bones and can lead to more fractures and breaks.

There is no cause for osteoporosis, but there are treatments to help prevent and treat it once it’s diagnosed.

Cause and Risk Factors

Most people have their highest bone mass and density when they are in their early 20s. As you age increase, you lose old bone at a faster rate than your body can replace it. Because of this older people are at higher risk Osteoporosis.

A number of causes and factors for osteoporosis are Hormone levels, Lifestyle choices, Dietary factors, Steroids, and other Medications.

1.Hormone levels

Osteoporosis is more common in people who have too much or too little of certain hormones in their bodies.

a. Sex Hormones

Lowered sex hormone levels tend to weaken bone.

Low Estrogen in Women: The reduction of estrogen levels in women at menopause is one of the strongest risk factors for developing osteoporosis because estrogen helps to protect bones.

Having ovaries surgically removed, also cause Osteoporosis and low bone density. This surgery caused a problem in the hip, spine, and wrist in menopausal women.

Women having a higher risk of developing osteoporosis because typically have thinner bones than men.

Low Testosterone in Men: In men ’s a gradual reduction in Testosterone hormone levels as they age. This reduction causes osteoporosis in men. This testosterone hormone helps for bone health.

Treatments for prostate cancer that reduces testosterone hormone levels in men’s body.

b.Thyroid conditions

Too much thyroid can cause bone loss. This can occur if or thyroid is overactive or if you take too much thyroid hormone medication to treat an underactive thyroid.

c.Other Hormone in Balances

Several other hormones play an important role in regulating your bone density. They help orchestrate how well your bone uses and when to buildup and break down bone. But too much parathyroid hormone causes calcium loss in the urine at the expense of bone, which weeks the bones

As you age your body produces the less growth hormone, which you need to build strong bone, Which are the causes of osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis also has been associated with overactive parathyroid and adrenal gland.

2.Dietary Factors

Osteoporosis is more likely to occur in people who have a low diet.

a.Lack of Calcium

The decline in the hormone estrogen during menopause causes a  women’s bones to thin faster. The hormone disorder hypoparathyroidism may also cause calcium deficiency disease.

Low calcium intake contributes to diminished bone density, early bone loss and an increased risk of fractures.

Bones are the reservoir for 2 minerals calcium and phosphorus. You need a constant level of calcium in your organs, especially your muscles and nerves depend on calcium over time, as you deplete the mineral reservoir in your bones, you end up with thin, brittle bones.

b.Lack of Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps your body to absorb and use calcium and improves bone health in other ways.

It helps your muscles move because nerves need vitamin D to carry messages from your body to your brain. Your immune system also needs vitamin D to fight against bacteria and viruses.

Too little can lead to weak bones and increased bone loss.

C. Eating Disorders

Severally restricting food and being underweight weakens bone in both men and women. some popular drinks and certain other carbonated soft drinks contain phosphoric acid, which can increase calcium excretion in your urine. It is trouble for women and men of osteoporosis.

d. Lack of Protein

Bones are contained 50% protein, bone repair requires a steady stream of dietary amino acid, the building blocks of body proteins. Low protein intake causes bone density, early bone loss.

3.Steroids and Other Medications

Long term use of oral or injected corticosteroid medications, such as prednisone and cortisone, interferes with the bone rebuilding process.

Some diseases or medication cause changes in hormone levels and some drugs reduce bone mass.

Diseases that affect hormone levels include hyperthyroidism, hyperparathyroidism and Cushing’s disease.

a. Medication

Taking certain medications may lead to bone loss and an increase in bone density and also increase the risk of factors.

Some medicines such as phenytoin and phenobarbital used to treat epilepsy.

Glucocorticoids also called steroids, such as cortisone and prednisone. They are used to treat arthritis, asthma, lupus causes bone loss.

Gonadotropin used to treat prostate cancer or in female infertility also causes osteoporosis.

b. Some Medical conditions

Osteoporosis cause and prevention

A host of medical conditions can lead to bone loss, from genetic diseases like to digestive diseases, tumors, which infiltrate bones with abnormal cells.

Abnormal calcium excretion also contributes to bone loss.

Several rheumatological conditions condition may affect joints, resulting in poor balance and increased risk of osteoporosis.

4.Lifestyle Changes

Some bad habits in our daily life can increase your risk of osteoporosis.

a. Sedentary Lifestyle

For people who are sedentary or have a condition like a paralysis cause of osteoporosis. People who spend a lot of time sitting have a higher risk of osteoporosis than do those who are more active.

A sedentary lifestyle not only affects your posture but also makes you more susceptible to lifestyle diseases.

We usually spend more than 6 hours a day in a chair, by doing so we increase the risk of developing weak muscles and bones, leading to joint and bone ailments. It also influences the aging process.

b. Excessive alcohol consumption

Regular consumption of more than two alcoholic drinks a day increases your risk of osteoporosis.

Alcohol can arrest bone remodeling and increase your calcium loss. your bones become less dense and more prone to break.

Alcohol increases oxidative stress and the formation of excessive numbers of reactive oxygen species throughout the body, including bone. It increases bone damaging hormones cortisol, which decreases bone formation and increases bone break down.

C. Smoking /Tabaco

Many of the health problems caused by Tabaco use. Cigarette smoking can interfere with calcium absorption, it can increase your risk of bone loss.

Smoking cigarette there is more nicotine which kills the osteoblast, the bone making cells.

Smoking impedes the hormone calcitonin, which helps build bones. It also damages blood vessels and lowers the bone density.

Signs and Symptoms of osteoporosis

In its early stages, osteoporosis generally causes no symptoms. Over the, a person with osteoporosis may notice back pain, loss of height and a stooped posture.

Bone fractures are the most serious complications of osteoporosis.

Once your bones have been weekend by osteoporosis, you may have signs and symptoms that include.

  • Back pain caused by a fractured or collapsed vertebra.
  • Loss of height over time.
  • A stopped posture.
  • Joint or muscle posture.

a.Receding Gums

Receding gums are quite common and can be attributed to a variety of factors, one of which is bone loss.

Jaw bone loss has also has been associated with lower bone mineral density in areas such as the vertebral bodies of the lumbar spine.

b. Decreased grip strength.

In postmenopausal women, handgrip strength was the most important physical test factor related to overall bone minerals density.

As we grow older one of the ways to keep the risk of fracture to a minimum is through fall prevention.

When you lose strength in your lower and upper body are your grip strength. It causes osteoporosis.

Stronger grip strength can also decrease your risk of falls.

c. Weak and brittle fingernails.

We always consider it a good sign when nail strength improves. The usual cause is repeated wetting and drying of the fingernails. The makes them dry and brittle.

It is a sign of early bone loss nail strength can signal bone health.

The most common reasons for brittle fingernails are hormonal changes and nutrition which is cause for the bone loss.

d. The decrease in overall fitness

Another early indicator of osteoporosis is an overall decline in physical fitness .some things to look out for decreased muscle strength. Poor balance and decreased aerobic abilities. If your general fitness declines, it is likely that bone mass will also decline.

e.Height loss:

Losing height is very common as we age and there are many precursors to it, including poor posture and vertebral fractures. It indicates the weakening of the muscles around your spine and since bone  & muscles. It is likely that a loss in muscles is connected to an eventual loss in the bone.

Loss of muscle in the torso can contribute to a stooped posture. Gradually flattening of the arches of the feet can make you shorter.

f. Cramps, muscle  aches, and bone pain:

As we get older, many of us accept aches and pains as a part of life, but these symptoms may indicate that your bone loss.

The most common cause of osteoporosis pain is a spinal compression fracture.

Cramps are another symptom osteoporosis. There are a number of mechanisms causing leg comps and foot cramps, but leg cramps that occur at night are often a signal that your calcium, magnesium, and potassium in blood levels have dropped too low when you are not consuming food. If this situation were persisted over time, excessive bone loss occurs.

Test and Diagnosis/ detection of Osteoporosis

The diagnosis is the process of determining which disease or conditions a person’s symptoms and signs. It is a major component of a procedure of doctor’s visit. It can also help monitor response to treatment.

Early detection of osteoporosis is very important. There are tests which can detect bone density problem.

  • Low-level X-ray on a finger or wrist
  • Ultrasound of a heel
  • CT scan of the spine
  • Bone density scan(DEXA: Dual-energy X-ray Absorption Test)
  • Bone mineral density(BMD) Test

Standard X-ray does not detect osteoporosis until one-quarter of bone mass is already lost. By then susceptibility to fracture already exists.

DEXA is an early detection tool and can detect as little as one percent of the bone loss. So it is best to test for osteoporosis.

Stages of Osteoporosis

osteoporosis symptoms

Osteoporosis has four stages:

Stage 1:- It occurs around the age of 30 to 35 years when the breakdown of bone occurs at the same rate the body builds bone. It has no visible symptoms.

Stage 2:- It occurs usually after age 35 when the breakdown of bone happens at a faster pace than the body builds bone.

It has no visible symptoms, but it can be detected through bone-density tests.

Stage 3:- It occurs usually after ages 45 to 55. During this stage, the bone becomes so thin that they break from the stress that they normally could withstand.

Most cases of osteoporosis are diagnosed during this stage.

Stage 4:- It occurs as bone fractures continue, pain increases and disability appears. Deformities in the spine and other areas may become more obvious.

There may be difficulty moving and doing daily activities.

This stage is becoming less common because of the treatment available to prevent a future fracture.

Prevention and Treatment of Osteoporosis

Treatment aims to slow or prevent the development of osteoporosis, maintain healthy bone mineral density and bone mass, prevent fractures, reduce pain and maximize the person’s ability to continue with their daily life.

This is done through preventive lifestyles measure and the use of the supplement and some drugs.

Treatment includes medication, a healthy diet, and weight-bearing exercise to help prevent bone loss or strengthen already weak bones.

Osteoporosis Medication:

The most aggressive way to prevent additional bone loss is to take prescription medications such as drugs.

Some drugs slow the breakdown of bone while others promote bone, the formation you should speak to your doctor about the best strategy for you based on your bone mineral density. These are

a. Bisphosphates

These are antiresorptive drugs that slow down bone loss and reduce fracture risk on your body.

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There are a number of different  bisphosphonates medication including

  • Alendronate
  • Ibandronate
  • Risedronate
  • Zoledronic acid

Alendronate(Fosamax), an oral medication people take daily or once per weak.

Ibandronate( Boniva), available as a monthly oral tablet or an intravenous injection that you get four times per year.

Risedronate (Actonel)  It is available in daily weekly or monthly doses in an oral tablet.

Zoledronic acid (Reclast) It is available as an intravenous infusion that you get once every one or two years.

b.Hormone-Related Medications

Several medications that have hormone-like effects can be prescribed to treat osteoporosis.

  • Calcitonin(calcium, Miacalcin) It is a hormone the thyroid gland makes. It helps regulate calcium levels in the body.

This helps prevent spinal fracture in postmenopausal women and it can help manage pain if a fracture occurs.

A doctor uses synthetic calcination to treat spinal osteoporosis in certain women who can’t take bisphosphonates.

Calcitonin is available by nasal spray or injection.

  • SERMs (selective estrogen receptor modulators)

SERMs are medications that have similar effects on bones as the hormone estrogen. It recreates the bone-preserving effects of estrogen. That helps to maintain bone density and reduce the risk of fracture, particularly of the spine.

Raloxifene (Evista) is the one type of SERM available for treating osteoporosis.

It is taken as a daily tablet.

  • Parathyroid hormones(PTHS)

It controls calcium and phosphate levels in your body. HRT also maintain bone density and reduce the risk of fracture during treatment.

Treatments with a synthetic PTH can promote new bone growth. It regulates the amount of calcium in bone.

While other medication can slow down the rate of bone thinning, the parathyroid hormone can increase bone density.

It is used as an injection.

A Healthy Diet of Osteoporosis

The foods we eat contain a variety of vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients that keep our bodies healthy. All of these nutrients are needed in a balanced proportion. These are-

osteoporosis treatment



Protein is one of the building blocks of bone. Vegetarians and vegans can get enough protein in that diet if they intentionally seek.

Suitable sources of protein such as soya, nuts, legumes, dairy, and egg high protein diet could repair bone loss.

Note: Older adults do not get enough protein in their diets, this may be harmful to bones for older adults.


Calcium is the primary mineral in your body. It is important for maintaining healthy bones.

Having adequate calcium intake in the diet is essential in helping to prevent osteoporosis and helping to prevent the lost bone mass.

People between the age of 18 to 50 need 1000 milligram of calcium a day.

Good source of calcium are………….

  • Low-fat dairy product
  • Dark green leafy vegetables
  • Cereals and orange juice

If you find it difficult to get enough calcium from your diet, consider taking calcium supplements.

Too much calcium has been linked to kidney stones and increases the risk of heart disease.

The Institute of Medicine recommended that total calcium intake from supplements and diet combined should be no more than 2000 milligram daily for a people older than 50.

Vitamin D:

Vitamin D improves your body’s ability to absorb calcium and improves bone health in other ways.

People can get adequate amounts of vitamin D from sunlight but this may not be a good source. If you live in a high latitude if you regularly use sunscreen avoid the sun entirely because of the risk of skin cancer.

Vitamin D is found in only a small number of foods, it might be difficult to get enough from your diet. So you should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D.

Adults should intakes vitamin D of 600 IU daily up to age 70.

Physical Exercise to reduce Osteoporosis

Without proper physical activity, bones become weak and thus can fracture easily. Frequent physical activity helps strengthen the bones and prevent osteoporosis and other joint ailments. You can also do yoga for strong bones.

It is important that individuals with osteoporosis be aware of any physical changes affects their balance.

Physical activity helps slow age-related bone loss and can slightly improve bone density in some cases. It also helps improve your posture and balance, lowering your risk of falls.

Exercise to control Osteoporosis

It is an important component of an osteoporosis prevention and treatment program. Exercise not only improves your bone health, but it increases muscle strength, and balance and leads to better overall health.

Although it is good for someone with osteoporosis, it should not put any sudden or exercise strain on your bone.

Do specific exercise to strengthen and support your bone which is recommended by your doctor.

Relaxation Training:

Relaxation teaches you how to focus deeply. This relaxes muscles and relieves aches and tension.

Uses a special machine that helps you learn to control basic body functions such as your muscle tension. It can help you give relaxation skills and cause pain.

Weight-bearing Exercises:

Weight-bearing exercise like walking or jogging, running, stair climbing, skipping rope, playing tennis is affecting mainly the bones in your legs & helps lower spine. It can help strengthen the bones in your legs, hips and lower spine.

Maintain body weight:

Being underweight increases the chance of bone loss and fractures. Excess weight is now known to increase the risk of fractures in your arm and wrist. So maintaining appropriate body weight is good for the bone.

Lifestyle factor changes:

  • Do not smoke-if you avoid smoking it can reduce the growth of a new bone and decrease estrogen levels in women.
  • Walk slowly on polished or wet floors.
  • Limiting alcohol intake-limiting alcohol intake to encourage healthy bones and prevent falls.
  • Wear rubber-soled shoes to help with traction.
  • Keep your home uncluttered and remove or put away things you could trip on.
  • wear supportive low heeled shoes and don’t walk in socks or stockings.


Osteoporosis affects many people all over the world and although there is not currently cure, treatment is available. Medications, hormone therapy, and exercise can strengthen your bones and slow bone loss.

If you have osteoporosis talk to your doctor. Discuss each possible treatment and lifestyle change and you can decide a treatment plan that is best for you.

There is information about osteoporosis which helps you to manage lifestyle and stay healthy, fit and happy.

If you have any questions regarding this article, please don’t hesitate to give your comments.

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