9 Risk Factors for Osteoporosis ...

I admit it: I am aging. As hateful as that sounds, I’m doing it… and so are you. (Misery loves company.) But we can age smartly and beautifully, and one way to do that is to take good care of our bones, especially if we’re at risk for osteoporosis, which is a significant weakness of the bones. If you’re not sure whether or not you’re at risk, keep reading. Here are 9 risk factors for osteoporosis.

1. Age

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Your age is something you can’t do anything about (I know, I’ve tried) but it’s still a significant risk factor for osteoporosis: as you age, your risk increases. That’s why it’s important to know all of the other risk factors, since, sadly, we’re all at risk as well all age.

2. Medication

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Did you know that some prescription medications and other medical treatmentscan cause bone loss? Ask your doctor if any of your prescription medications might contribute to or cause bone loss, especially if you’re taking something for asthma or arthritis, or if you’re undergoing treatment for cancer.

3. Body Type

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For some reason, if you’re petite, you’re at a higher risk for osteoporosis. So, for once, being slender with a small frame ISN’T an advantage.

4. Smoking

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Add this to the list of reasons not to smoke: it can also add to bone loss, putting you at greater risk for osteoporosis. As if the list of reasons to quit smoking wasn’t long enough… so no more excuses! It’s time to quit!

5. Exercise

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Adding weight-breaking exercises to your workout routine can help with minimizing your risk of osteoporosis. It’s a little complicated, but weight bearing exercise, such as brisk walking, encourages the replenishment of your bones, keeping them healthy. Being sedentary is a risk factor for osteoporosis, so get up and get moving!

6. Diet

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Your body is storing calcium until you hit your early 20s, so it’s important to add calcium to your diet at any age, but especially in your young adult-hood and late teens. If you simply can’t stand dairy, no worries… there are other ways to get your calcium!

7. Gender

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Did you know that more women are affected by osteoporosis than men? So being a woman automatically gains you excellent taste in shoes, a passion for chick-flicks, but it also puts you at risk of osteoporosis. That’s why we need to be aware!

8. Family History

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If one of your parents, aunts, uncles, or grandparents have osteoporosis, then you’re at a much higher risk of having it, too. Again, this is a risk factor for osteoporosis you really can’t control, but it’s good to know about it, so you can take steps to prevent and treat it.

9. Menopause

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As if the hot flashes and mood swings weren’t enough, the drop in estrogen as we women go through The Change also puts us at a higher risk of osteoporosis. Take a tip from those commercials with Sally Field in them, and talk to your doctor about adding a drug to treat bone loss before you develop osteoporosis, especially if you have a combination of an of these other risk factors for osteoporosis.

With so many risk factors for osteoporosis, it may seem like a hopeless battle, but it’s not. Even if you are at risk, there’s so much we can do to prevent it, and to treat it, if we do have it! I’m at risk myself, so I’m careful with my diet and exercise. As I age, I’ll likely add bone-strengthening medication, too. Which of these osteoporosis risk factors do you have? How do you take care of your bones? Please share!

Top Photo Credit: Imagine Canada

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