Are You at Risk for Osteoporosis?

As you age, your bones can become more fragile, putting you at risk for developing osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is degenerative, and untreated puts you at risk for fractures and diminished quality of life.

Fortunately, with the right lifestyle and treatments, you can lower your risk of developing osteoporosis and reverse many of the effects after your diagnosis. At Florida Compassionate Care Centers in Ormond Beach, Florida, our team describes the main risk factors for osteoporosis and how treatments like medical marijuana can help.

Understanding osteoporosis

You develop osteoporosis when your bones lose density, causing them to become brittle and more porous. As a result, your bones weaken and are less healthy than they once were.

Once you get osteoporosis, you’re more likely to develop bone fractures, especially in your wrists, hips, and spine. In serious cases of osteoporosis, something as simple as coughing can cause a fracture.

Osteoporosis doesn’t always have symptoms in the early stages, although as it progresses, you can experience stooped posture and back pain. To monitor your bone health and risk of osteoporosis, our team recommends bone density scans regularly.

The most common osteoporosis risk factors

Anyone can get osteoporosis, but certain factors make it more likely you’ll develop the condition. These are some of the top risk factors: 

Being female

You’re four times more likely to get osteoporosis if you’re a woman. That is because women tend to have smaller, lighter bones than men and live longer on average.

Age

Your bone density starts to decrease after age 30, although strength training and consuming enough calcium can reduce your bone density loss. For women, the risk of developing osteoporosis increases after menopause from estrogen loss, while testosterone loss from aging increases the risk for men.

Genetics

If you have a family history of parents, siblings, or grandparents with osteoporosis, you’re more likely to develop the condition.

Ethnicity and bone structure

People who are Caucasian and Asian are more likely to get osteoporosis than other ethnicities. Having a small or petite bone structure, especially if you’re female, also means you’re at higher risk of the condition.

Certain medical conditions and medications

Having some medical conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis and thyroid disorders, up your odds of getting osteoporosis, as does taking certain types of medications, such as corticosteroids. 

Smoking and alcohol use

Smokers and people who drink heavily are more likely to get osteoporosis, as both habits are bad for your bone health.

Treating osteoporosis

If your bone density scan shows you are at risk or have developed osteoporosis, our team develops a plan to help you prevent or manage the condition. We often recommend medical marijuana, which has been shown to slow bone loss, as part of your treatment plan.

Our medical experts also might recommend other lifestyle changes to support your treatment, including physical activity, weight training, increasing your calcium intake, and smoking and drinking cessation help.

To learn more about treating and preventing osteoporosis, including using medical marijuana to support your bones, schedule an appointment at Florida Compassionate Care Centers online or by phone.

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