As we age, it becomes more and more important to take care of our health and to be mindful of the changes in our bodies. One of these changes that can seriously threaten our bone health is a condition known as osteoporosis.
With May being Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month, our family doctor in Edinburg, TX, wants to take the time to inform RGV residents what osteoporosis is and what can cause it.
Osteoporosis: What Is It?
Osteoporosis is a condition that leads to the weakening of bones. As the condition worsens, bones can become brittle and easily break. Some medical professionals refer to osteoporosis as a “silent” condition because many sufferers do not know how severe their situation is until a bone breaks.
Over the course of our lives, our bodies break down old bones and replace our skeletons with healthy, new bone tissue. However, as we age, this repairing process begins to slow down, and eventually, our bone mass decreases.
In later years, bone is broken down faster than it’s repaired, which results in much weaker bones.
Main Risk Factors of Osteoporosis
Unfortunately, there are a number of factors that increase an individual’s likelihood of developing osteoporosis. This includes race, sex, family medical history, genetics, body type, and, of course, age.
Additionally, certain medical conditions and the medications needed to treat them can increase the risks of osteoporosis. Medications used to deal with seizures, cancer, or gastric reflux have been linked to the development of osteoporosis. People who struggle with celiac, kidney/liver, or inflammatory bowel disease are also at a higher risk.
However, there are things we can control that can contribute to increased chances of developing osteoporosis, including:
- Use of Tobacco – Though the exact link isn’t known, smoking has been shown to result in weaker bones.
- Heavy Use of Alcohol – Frequent consumption of alcohol also plays a role in the development of osteoporosis.
- Overall Sedentary Behavior – If you spend too much time in a chair or bed, this can increase the potential of developing the condition.
A Knowledgeable Family Doctor in Edinburg
Though the idea of osteoporosis may seem frightening, we here at the Family Medicine and Geriatric Center want to assure you that there are steps you can take to prevent and combat the condition. If you have concerns that you or a loved one may be dealing with osteoporosis, our Edinburg family doctor is ready to answer all your questions!