Causes, Progression, and Treatment of Osteoporosis
The term osteoporosis means porous bone, which is an exact description of what the condition is. Osteoporosis is a common affliction, which is often preventable. Women are eight times more likely to develop osteoporosis than men are.
Can Osteoporosis be Prevented?
While osteoporosis usually appears in late adulthood, optimum prevention of the condition begins in childhood. Bone density, weight, and strength is greatest during adolescence.
Taking steps to build strong bones in childhood and adolescence is essential. This includes eating a diet rich in calcium, magnesium, zinc, copper, and vitamin D.
Regular exercise and exposure to natural light is important throughout the lifespan. High-risk individuals and people who have osteoporosis may require supplements and medication to prevent bone loss.
Your Genes and Osteoporosis
Heredity is the major determining factor for bone strength. Among women with osteoporosis, heredity is considered to be responsible for approximately 70% of bone loss. Osteoporosis in men is almost completely due to genetics.
You have a higher genetic risk of developing osteoporosis if you are a small framed Caucasian or Asian woman. Black women have a lower risk of the condition. You have an increased risk of developing osteoporosis if other members of your family have the condition.
The vitamin D receptor gene helps to build receptors in your cells that use vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential for bone health. It helps your body to use calcium and make strong bones. Dependent upon your genetic makeup, you may have the ability to use vitamin D and calcium well or you may not.
Medical experts are conducting research about the role of genetics and the formation of osteoporosis. In the future, people who have a high genetic risk for developing osteoporosis may receive preventative treatment early in life.