Osteoporosis is a condition characterized by loss of bone or slow regeneration of bone in the body. Our bodies undergo immense strain throughout the day, whether or not we are physically active. For this reason, the body regenerates bones to maintain strength in the body.
People with osteoporosis experience low or no regeneration which leads to a degeneration of the integrity in the bones. People with osteoporosis are at high risk of sustaining fractures. Currently, 1.4 million Canadians are suffering from the condition and it is one of the most common musculoskeletal conditions in the world.
Causes of Osteoporosis and Risk Factors
There are many reasons for why people might develop the condition. Medical, cultural and sex based differences have all been observed in connection with the condition. Some major risk factors include:
Opposite to previous thinking, newer research is starting to show the relationship between obesity and osteoporosis. There is evidence showing that obese individuals could be at more risk for osteoporosis than non-obese people. The process described is that the more fat you have in your body, there will be a correspondingly low bone mass.
If you’re overweight, there’s an immense amount of pressure on the skeletal system. This means that the body needs to replenish and rejuvenate bone faster.. The skeleton starts to suffer from these excessive loads and the bones get continually weaker as the nutritional intake required to maintain bone integrity is insufficient.
This causes loss of bone mass and can therefore increase the chances of developing osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis in Women
Women are far more likely than men to develop osteoporosis, particularly after menopause. X-rays show that women have thinner bones than men and therefore are generally more at risk than men.
Estrogen is a hormone that is responsible for maintaining skeletal health in the body. For women, once menopause hits, the estrogen production sharply falls which may lead to the decline of overall bone health.
Age and Family History
There is a very strong link of age and genetics with osteoporosis. Research directed towards studying this link point out that people with parents who have osteoporosis are far more likely to develop osteoporosis because of a disposition towards nutritional deficiency as they grow older.
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