Osteoporosis is a very common condition that may occur in multiple family members, especially if they are women. But is osteoporosis genetic, or does this bone loss occur for another reason? In this article, we’ll talk about genetics, warning signs, and how you can keep your bones healthy.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition that causes a person’s bones to become weak and brittle. It’s a very common ailment, affecting more than 3 million Americans. People with osteoporosis are at a greater risk for fractures and bone-related pain. Some patients also deal with height loss as the bones in their spine become more brittle. While it cannot be cured, patients can manage their symptoms and also work to prevent further bone loss.
Is Osteoporosis Genetic?
Osteoporosis can indeed run in families. However, scientists are still researching this link. In addition to genetic factors, there are many lifestyle traits that can be passed down in families, too. For instance, smoking, alcohol consumption, and inactivity can all increase a person’s risk. Generally speaking, if a family member has been diagnosed with osteoporosis, you should be tested, too.
Are You At Risk?
In addition to genetics and lifestyle, there are a few other risk factors that patients should know about. Osteoporosis is far more common in females. In fact, about 80% of patients are women! While it can occur at any age, it is more likely to occur after menopause. This is because the hormone estrogen, which dramatically decreases at menopause, typically supports a woman’s bones. Women who are near menopause should have their bone density checked by a doctor.
How a Rheumatologist Can Help
As we mentioned, osteoporosis can’t be cured. However, there is plenty that patients- and their physicians- can do to keep the bones healthy. A rheumatologist can diagnose and treat your bone disease. They can also help you create strategies for managing your bone health over time.
Bone Care in Houston
Houston Rheumatology can help you take charge of your bone health. Our team can offer a wide variety of treatments and can help you create a long-term plan for your overall health. Explore our website to learn more, or click the link above to make an appointment.