Black woman flexing muscles outdoors on a trail

What Affects Bone Health?

The Importance of Bone Health

Your bones are primarily responsible for supporting your body, providing structure, protecting your vital organs, and acting as attachment sites for muscles that allow the body to move. Bones are also responsible for storing minerals like phosphorus and calcium, releasing them into the body when they are needed elsewhere.

Due to a multitude of factors, bones can become weak and brittle. This can lead to breaks, fractures, as well as long-term health issues. The following can affect your bone health:

Controllable Factors

Diet

Maintaining a diet that is low in calcium and vitamin D can increase your risk of getting osteoporosis or bone-density loss.

Physical Activity

People who live a sedentary lifestyle are also at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis. Similarly to muscle strength, bones require physical activity to maintain strength, density, and resilience.

Body Weight

Maintaining a healthy body weight is essential when it comes to bone health. Being underweight can increase your risk of fractures and bone loss as you continue to age.

Tobacco and Alcohol Use

Tobacco use can reduce bone mass and increase your chances of experiencing fractures and breaks. Heavy alcohol consumption can also have the same effects on bone density.

Risk Factors You Cannot Control:

Gender

Women are more likely to develop osteoporosis than men. This is because women have smaller bones and lose bone density more rapidly than men due to hormone changes that occur during menopause.

Age

As you age, your bones gradually become thinner and weaker; your body may begin to absorb calcium and phosphates from your bones rather than storing them there. Hormonal changes with age, such as drops in estrogen and testosterone levels, also have the potential to cause bone loss.

Ethnicity

People of Asian and European descent are more likely to get osteoporosis than other ethnic groups. This is especially true for women of Asian and European ancestry. Other ethnic groups are also at risk, such as those of African and Latino descent, however, the risk is lesser.

Family History

Having an immediate family member who has broken a bone or has osteoporosis may also increase your risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if one of your parents has experienced a broken bone, you may need to be screened earlier on for osteoporosis.

Orthopedic Care in Northern California

At Muir Orthopaedic Specialists, our team of experienced physicians believes good medical care is a result of mutual understanding, respect, and trust. To learn more about our orthopedic services or schedule an appointment, visit our patient portal, or give us a call at 925-939-8585.

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