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What Causes Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a disease that causes the skeleton to become weak and puts the bones at a high risk of breaking. And when the bone breaks, its healing capacity is highly diminished. It affects more women than men because men have larger skeletons because of which their bone loss starts later on in life and it also progresses more slowly. Women produce very low levels estrogen (sexual hormone) post menopause, and this limits the body's ability to produce new bone. Thus old bone resorption begins to exceed new bone formation effectively causing bone loss. This causes bones to become brittle, porous, fragile. When you look at an X-ray of a hip with normal bone strength, you see a dense matrix of bone cells. But when you look at an X-ray of an osteoporotic hip, you will see there's hardly any solid bone matrix left and you'll see the presence of spacing between bone strands. Though the loss of estrogen is the leading cause of osteoporosis in women, there are other factors that cause osteoporosis in both women and men:

  1. Low estrogen in women
  2. Low testosterone in men
  3. Lack of calcium intake
  4. Sedentary lifestyle
  5. Lack of vitamin D
  6. Excessive smoking and alcohol
  7. Thyroid
  8. Medications
  9. Ethnicity
  10. Genetics
  11. Body structure