Dietary Impacts on Osteoporosis
People who have malabsorption problems may not absorb and use the minerals that bones need. Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and any illnesses that reduce the transit time of nutrients within the body may result in weight loss and resulting nutrient lack.
Undernourished children have higher rates of osteoporosis later in life, and women who weigh less than 130 pounds are particularly at risk for developing secondary osteoporosis.
People who have had portions of the small intestine or stomach removed due to cancer and other illness or injuries may not absorb adequate amounts of nutrients.
Supplementation may help to prevent bone loss if nutrition is inadequate.
Women who breast feed may experience a temporary loss of bone density. It usually resolves after breastfeeding ceases. Some experts propose that prolonged breastfeeding may result in permanent bone loss.
However, if calcium rich foods and supplements are taken while breastfeeding, bone loss is likely to be negligible.
Smoking injures the bone-forming cells of the body, reducing the hardness of bones. While men and women of all ages are affected, smoking is particularly deleterious for post-menopausal women.
Excessive alcohol consumption also reduces bone density. This may be due to harmful effects of the substance or be in response to poor nutrition. Prolonged heavy drinking can cause cirrhosis of the liver, which impairs bone health by interfering with the body’s ability to use vitamin D effectively.
Sun exposure is needed for the skin to produce vitamin D. As people become less active and spend more time indoors, an increase in rates of secondary osteoporosis may arise.
Type 1 diabetes, Cushing’s syndrome, and alterations in the health of the parathyroid and adrenal glands may result in an increased risk of osteoporosis occurrence.
Hyperthyroidism may lead to decreased bone density, and harm to the cells that make up the bones. Even if hyperthyroidism is corrected, damage to bones may persist.
People with cancers of the blood including leukemias, multiple myeloma, or lymphomas are at risk for osteoporosis. Hemophiliacs and individuals who have sickle cell disease are also.