Bones are the framework that support our body and protects our organs. It is also a storehouse of minerals, primarily calcium and it is critical to protect them from going brittle and weak. Read on to find out the factors that influence bone health, and be better informed
Diet plays an important role in determining the bone health. A diet low in calcium can lead to reduced bone density, early bone degeneration, making them vulnerable to fractures and damage. Also, lack of Vitamins D, C and K can degrade bone health. Vitamin D, in particular, helps in calcium absorption in the body thus making them stronger.
Bones get stronger when they are put to use. People who are physically active are at a lesser risk of osteoporosis than those who are inactive. Hence, it is important to engage in exercises and stay active. Weight bearing exercises, for example, have been found to improve bone density and can be incorporated in your workout routine.
SMOKING AND ALCOHOL
It has been found that use of tobacco can lead to reduced bone mass and hence, weak bones. Also, consuming more than two alcoholic drinks increases your risk of developing osteoporosis as alcohol tends to reduce body’s calcium absorbing ability.
BODY MASS INDEX
People with extremely low BMIs (19 or less) or those with a small skeletal structure are prone to reduced bone mass, especially as they grow older.
As we grow older, bones grow thinner and weaker as we tend to lose more bone mass than we gain.
Women are more prone to develop osteoporosis than men.
People who have had a history of osteoporosis in the family are more vulnerable to developing it, especially if they have had fractures.
Increased levels of thyroid can lead to bone loss. In women, when estrogen levels drop at menopause, bone mass depletes severely. While in men, reduced testosterone levels can lead to low bone mass.
Corticosteroid medications, such as prednisone, cortisone, etc, if used for an extended period of time are damaging to bone. Other drugs, such as the ones used to treat breast cancer and some anti-seizure medicines like phenytoin (Dilantin) and Phenobarbital etc can increase the risk of osteoporosis.
CERTAIN HEALTH CONDITIONS
People with eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia develop low bone mass. Certain procedures such as stomach surgery, weight-loss surgery etc can impede body’s ability to absorb calcium.