Osteoporosis means, in lay terms, loss of bone matter.
More and more, we are encountering this bone disease, and very serious problem, in younger people.
When it appears during menopause, in older women, it is known as primary osteoporosis. In reality, 50% of the bone mass women loose during menopause happens during the first three to five years, thus why hormone therapies should be started early on.
But we could have something called secondary osteoporosis when there is an underlying cause. Possible causes are:
– Medication with corticosteroids, an excess of thyroid hormones, antacids containing aluminum, Chron’s disease, diabetes, overactive parathyroid glands, chronic renal insufficiency, bariatric surgery, Celiac disease, Rheumatoid arthritis, hysterectomized patients with non-functioning ovaries (a common consequence of the surgery) or with anovulatory cycles, which can also be a consequence of hypothyroidism.
In reality, there are several hormones which “modulate” bone physiology: the thyroid hormones such as T4/T3 and calcitonin, parathormone, estrogens and androgens, IGF 1 and the Growth Hormone. When diagnosing osteoporosis, we need to study the relationship between all these, even in younger patients.
Some studies indicate the hypothesis that the cause may be hereditary in a number of small cases.
There is however, a frequent cause that is not currently uncommon, and to which I would like to draw attention, given the possibility that it may be the cause at any given age and especially in youth: a deficiency in ingesting lactose which makes sense but we may substitute with alternatives, anorexia nervosa, obesity, tobacco, excessive alcohol consumption, drinking soft-drinks, a sedentary lifestyle, and lack of exercise.
It is not uncommon to observe young patients in their 30´s with osteoporosis.
Avoid this serious public health issue and acquire a healthy lifestyle and habits early on in life! Controlling our health is in large part entirely up to us.