8 Diseases That Up Your Risk of Osteoporosis


Hyperthyroidism, when the thyroid gland produces too much thyroid hormone, can lead to weak muscles and fragile bones. Another less known condition is called hyperparathyroidism. We have four tiny parathyroid glands, which sit behind the thyroids in the neck. They produce parathyroid hormone, which regulates calcium levels in the blood. If they become hyperactive, your body draws too much calcium from bones, causing bone loss. A routine blood test for your calcium level can detect high levels, and may be a sign of the condition. But it can also cause symptoms like depression, feeling tired, old, irritable, and most notably kidney stones. Once the hyperactive gland is removed, bones can repair some of the damage.


If you suffered from amenorrhoea—defined as missing three or more monthly periods in a row—you may be at increased risk of developing osteoporosis later in life. The missed periods may be a warning sign that you have low estrogen, which could lead to premature menopause. About 1 percent of women experience premature ovarian failure—when the ovaries stop producing eggs and estrogen. One study found that in women with premature ovarian failure, 67 percent had already developed osteopenia —low bone density that precedes osteoporosis. Other factors can cause missed periods such as extreme thinness and excessive exercise. Talk to your doctor if you miss your period for three months in a row.


Being depressed can put you at risk of osteoporosis but the reasons are unclear. There is some debate over whether the depression itself increases the risk or the antidepressants used to treat it. Depression could play a role through lifestyle factors, because there’s a tendency for people who are depressed to be sedentary, smoke, and eat poorly, which may increase the risk of osteoporosis. A new study , however, found some support that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a common antidepressant, may contribute to bone loss. The study, published in the journal Injury Prevention, looked at women ages 40 to 64 taking SSRIs for other issues, like hot flashes, but excluded anyone with a diagnosis of mental illness. The study found a 76 percent increased risk of fractures in the group taking SSRIs. The authors recommended examining shorter term use of SSRIs in women being treated for menopausal symptoms.

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