Osteoporosis is a complex disease, and not all of its causes are known, but the results are bones that are more fragile and more prone to break. However, when certain risk factors are present, your likelihood of developing osteoporosis is increased. Therefore it is important to determine your risk of developing osteoporosis and take action to prevent it now. Osteoporosis is preventable if bone loss is detected early.
- Are you a postmenopausal woman, or have you had an early or surgically-induced menopause?
- Do you have a small, thin frame and/or are you Caucasian or Asian?
- Do you have a family history of osteoporosis?
- Have you had a non-traumatic bone fracture as an adult?
- Have you taken high doses of thyroid medication or used glucocorticoids (e.g. prednisone) for more than six months?
- Have you taken, or are you taking, immunosuppressive medications or chemotherapy to treat cancer?
- Is your diet low in dairy products and other sources of calcium?
- Are you physically inactive?
- Do you smoke or drink alcohol in excess?
The more times you answer “yes,” the greater your risk for developing osteoporosis.