When you know your osteopenia and osteoporosis risk factors, you will understand why you developed the condition. Also, knowing your individual risk factors can suggest some changes you could make to improve your future bone density.
Find your major risk factors from this list: 1. Heredity. Personal and family history counts a lot in risk. Heredity may be 60-70% of the determination of your adult bone mass. Your genes affect how much bone you have in your 30's and how fast you lose bone after that.
If you want to evaluate your osteopenia and osteoporosis risk here is what to look for:
If your heredity increases your risk of excessive bone loss, then you'll want to be especially active in doing things that stimulate greater bone growth.
(Note: Since heredity is such a big factor, if you have been diagnosed with Osteopenia or Osteoporosis, do your sisters and brothers a favor and tell them. Then they can consider getting a dexa scan to check their own bone mass.)
6. Nutrition and Diet - What we eat and when we eat it affects the bone building cycle.
7. Diseases that create osteopenia and osteoporosis risk factors.
8. Treatments for:
9. Some drugs can increase your osteoporosis risk:
Depro-Provera , Glucocorticoids (steroids); Aluminum containing drugs - including over the counter antacids with aluminum; Anticonvulsants; Cytotoxic drugs; GNRH - agonsists-lupron etc.; heparin; Lithium; Excessive thyroid hormone replacement; diuretics other than Thiazide. Some studies indicate that a long course of antibiotics may also be a risk factor.
Since there are other things that can cause Osteopenia, you would be wise to review the whole list and then return to read the rest of this page. Take notes so you have a written list of Additional Causes of Bone Loss that apply to you!
Using this information about Osteopenia and osteoporosis risk factors. You can eliminate some risk factors but others, like your inherited genes, are not under your control. Some of us have more to overcome than others.
You need to mention ALL your personal risk factors when discussing your treatment plan with your health care provider.
Sometimes risks can be minimized. Example: If you are taking medication that increases your risk of bone loss, discuss this with your health care provider. There may be a different medication or perhaps you can use a lower dose.
The same is true of your diet. For example, if you are lactose intolerant, you need to be sure you are getting sufficient calcium and vitamin D from other sources.
If you need assistance in dealing with habits like smoking or drinking, your health care provider may have some suggestions.
It is always worth raising your particular osteoporosis risk factors in discussions with your health care provider. Your bones depend on your participation in building the best care plan for you, in your circumstances.
Sources used for this page:
Ann Richards with Richard U. Levine, M.D. I’m Not Slowing Down. Dutton, 2003:I'm Not Slowing Down: Winning My Battle with Osteoporosis
Miriam E. Nelson; Sarah Wernick:Strong Women, Strong Bones, Updated
Morris Notelovits, MD, Ph.D; Marsha Ware, MD; Diana Tonnessen.Stand Tall! Every Woman's Guide to Preventing and Treating Osteoporosis