Causes of Osteoporosis


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Cause of Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis may be attributed to three factors: (1) accelerated bone loss at menopause in women or as men and women age; (2) suboptimal bone growth during childhood and adolescence resulting in failure to reach peak bone mass; and (3) bone loss secondary to disease conditions, eating disorders, or certain medications and medical treatments.1

Cause details for Osteoporosis: Bone is living tissue. Special cells called osteoclasts are constantly breaking down old bone as other cells known as osteoblasts are replacing it with new tissue. As people age, more bone is broken down than is replaced. The inside of bone normally looks like a honeycomb. In osteoporosis the spaces in this honeycomb grow larger because much more bone is destroyed than is replaced. This makes your bones weaker.

Experts do not fully understand why this happens. They do know that after women go through menopause, levels of the female hormone estrogen are much lower. These lower hormone levels can lead to bone loss and osteoporosis. Other causes of this disease include too little exercise and a diet too low in calcium and vitamin D.2

Underlying condition causes of Osteoporosis: The list of possible underlying conditions (see also Misdiagnosis of underlying causes of Osteoporosis) mentioned in various sources as possible causes of Osteoporosis includes:

Osteoporosis as a complication: Other conditions that might have Osteoporosis as a complication might be potential underlying causes of Osteoporosis. The list of conditions listing Osteoporosis as a complication in our database includes:

Osteoporosis as a symptom: Conditions listing Osteoporosis as a symptom may also be potential underlying causes of Osteoporosis. The list of conditions listing Osteoporosis as a symptom in our database includes:

Causes of Osteoporosis: medical news summaries: The following medical news items are relevant to causes of Osteoporosis:

Related information for causes of Osteoporosis: Further relevant information on causes of Osteoporosis may be found in the risk factors for Osteoporosis and underlying causes of Osteoporosis.

Footnotes:
1. excerpt from Osteoporosis Progress and Promise: NIAMS
2. excerpt from Osteoporosis - Age Page - Health Information: NIA

Last revision: June 5, 2003

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