Osteoporosis is a disease with a multifactorial origin, meaning that it is caused by several causes. Classically the causes of this disease can be classified into two distinct groups, which are:
Non-modifiable risk factors:
These are the risk factors on which we cannot act to reduce the risk of osteoporosis, and they are the following:
-The genetics of the person: Between 46% and 62% of bone mass is attributable to genetic factors, and predispose to low bone density; that means, if our parents and grandparents have suffered from osteoporosis, we are at great risk of suffering from it too.
-Sex: Women are much more at risk of osteoporosis than men.
-Age: The risk of suffering from this disease increases with age. In women, this risk significantly increases the risk of osteoporosis after menopause. From 70 to 75 years, this risk is much more important due to the consequences of a fracture.
-Menopause: From this stage and due to the lack of estrogen production, there is an accelerated loss of bone, which ends up triggering osteoporosis.
-Various diseases: There are several diseases that favor the loss of bone mass or osteoporosis, among them, we have: Rheumatoid arthritis, anorexia nervosa, celiac disease, liver diseases, hyperthyroidism, etc.
Modifiable risk factors:
Within this group, we have a number of factors that favor the development of osteoporosis, but they are factors on which we can perform an intervention so that we can reduce the risk of osteoporosis somewhat. They are the following:
-BMI <10: Those women or men who have a Body Mass Index below 10, have a higher risk of suffering from osteoporosis since it stimulates the destructive activity of the bone and does not favor the reconstruction.
-Low calcium intake: The low intake of this mineral so necessary for the formation of bone, favors the development of osteoporosis. It has a low level of absorption, around 30% of what is ingested and there are also substances in plants such as phytates and oxalates that further inhibit their absorption. Therefore, if we associate a low intake with the difficulty of absorbing this mineral, will favor low bone mineralization and consequent osteoporosis.
-Low levels of vitamin D: The absorption of calcium is not only linked to its deficit, but also to adequate levels of vitamin D.
-Hyperproteic diets: The consumption of diets with high levels of proteins favor the renal excretion of calcium.
-Smoking: The consumption of more than 20 cigarettes a day favors the loss of bone mass.
-Caffeine: Its high consumption also favors the elimination of calcium.
-Alcohol: A high consumption decreases the action of the osteoblasts that are the bone-forming cells.
-Sedentary habit: The lack of exercise favors the loss of bone mass since there are no stimuli on the bone that favor its formation.
-Drugs: The consumption of certain medications for long periods of time, favor the decrease in bone mineralization or osteoporosis, such as corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, anticoagulants, and heparin.