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Bone Health - Causes

A number of factors can affect bone health:

  • low calcium intake in the diet - a diet low in calcium reduces bone density, causes early bone loss and increases risk of fractures;
  • mineral deficiency - can occur due to nutritional deficiency or an error in nutritional absorption;
  • hormones - parathyroidism, which takes away calcium from the bones;
  • vitamin D deficiency - people who are indoors with no exposure to the sun;
  • thyroid dysfunction - leading to nutritional deficiency and bone loss;
  • low sex hormones - in case of women, at menopause or any disease which causes low estrogen, whereas in men, disease causing low testosterone;
  • diseases - gastro-intestinal disease such as Chron’s, irritable bowel syndrome and anorexia or any form of eating disorder can affect the body’s ability to absorb calcium and vitamin D, thus leading to osteoporosis; and
  • certain medications - long-term use of steroid medications, certain medications used in cancer, anti-depressants, methotrexate, some anti-epileptics and antacids. All of these are known to cause brittle bones.

Risk factors

  • age - it is known that after 30, bone density starts to reduce;
  • women are more prone to suffer than men;
  • over-weight and obesity;
  • heredity;
  • tobacco or smoking may cause depletion of nutrition;
  • alcohol, leading to bone thinning; and
  • lack of exercise.