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There are many risk factors that can increase your chances of getting osteoporosis. Some of the risk factors are things you can control and some aren't.
• Diet. Getting too little calcium can increase your chances of getting osteoporosis. Not getting enough vitamin D can also increase your risk for the disease. Vitamin D is important because it helps the body use the calcium in your diet.
• Physical activity. Not exercising and not being active for long periods of time can increase your chances of getting osteoporosis. Like muscles, bones become stronger - and stay stronger - with regular exercise.
• Body weight. Being too thin makes you more likely to get osteoporosis.
• Smoking. Smoking cigarettes can keep your body from using the calcium in your diet. Also, women who smoke go through menopause earlier than those who don't smoke. These things can increase your risk for osteoporosis.
• Alcohol. People who drink a lot are more likely to get osteoporosis.
• Medicines. Certain medicines can cause bone loss. These include a type of medicine called glucocorticoids. These are given to people who have arthritis, asthma, and many other diseases. Some other medicines that prevent seizures and that treat endometriosis, a disease of the uterus, and cancer can cause bone loss too.
• Age. Your chances of getting osteoporosis increase as you get older.
• Gender. You have a greater chance of getting osteoporosis if you are a woman. Women have smaller bones than men and lose bone faster than men do because of hormone changes that happen after menopause.
• Ethnicity. White women and Asian women are most likely to get osteoporosis. Hispanic women and African American women are also at risk, but less so.
• Family history. Having a close family member who has osteoporosis or has broken a bone may also increase your risk.
If you have one of the following health problems, talk to your doctor about your bone health:
♦ Anorexia nervosa
♦ Asthma / allergies
♦ Caffeine - excessive intake
♦ Cushing's disease
♦ Inflammatory bowel disease
♦ Lactose intolerance
♦ Liver or kidney disease
♦ Lung disease
♦ Multiple sclerosis
♦ Rheumatoid arthritis