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What is Osteoporosis | What causes Osteoporosis

Updated: Jan 22

what-is-osteoporosis, image of fish bones

What is Osteoporosis?


To answer our question, what is Osteoporosis, let’s start with the basics and draw some conclusions.

“Osteoporosis is a bone disease that occurs when the body loses too much bone, makes too little bone, or both. As a result, bones become weak and may break from a fall or, in serious cases, from sneezing or minor bumps.” source


The Basic Concept of Osteoporosis


So at the base of the question, what is osteoporosis, it comes down to one basic concept; your body needs more minerals than it has available.

If your body cannot get what it needs from food and water, then it uses your bones as a mineral bank. When the demand is greater then what the bones have, you lose bone mass. You also lose the ability to feed your organs the minerals they need to function correctly.

There two conditions which can cause bone loss are therefore fundamental:

  1. You need more bone minerals than you can replenish

  2. Your body makes too little bone [to replace the mineral bank]

“Osteoporosis happens when bone density decreases and the body stops producing as much bone as it did before.” Medical NewsToday


According to many people, the base cause of Osteoporosis is our body slows down and stops producing the quantity of bone it did in the past. That is the root cause of Osteoporosis.


The Osteoporosis Solution – The Basic Solution?


The answer is obvious:

  1. Lessing the demand for bone minerals

  2. Increase the production of bone minerals

  3. A combination of the two

The answer to the question, what is Osteoporosis, is basic and simple. But we seem to lose that simplicity in the solution as we will see.


What Causes Osteoporosis?


Below is a rather long list of possible causes contributing to bone loss. But it is essential, for those seeking answers to some of the causes.


Let us start out with the stuff we can have some control over.

  1. Lack of weight-bearing exercise such as walking

  2. Eating acid environment foods

  3. The body will take the calcium from the bone to help neutralize the acidic input

  4. Acidic Drinking Water

  5. Soft Drinks

  6. Fried foods

  7. Many more

  8. Red Meat (too much red meat)

Medical Procedures, Diseases, Illness, and Conditions That May Cause Bone Loss

Medical Procedures

  1. Gastrectomy

  2. Gastrointestinal bypass procedures

  3. Weight loss surgery

Diseases, Conditions 

This list is not all the potential sources.

  1. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

  2. Lupus

  3. Multiple sclerosis

  4. Ankylosing spondylitis

  5. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

  6. Breast cancer

  7. Prostate cancer

  8. Leukemia and lymphoma

  9. Multiple myelomas

  10. Sickle cell disease

  11. Stroke

  12. Parkinson’s disease

  13. Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

  14. Spinal cord injuries

  15. Thalassemia

  16. Mental Illness

  17. Depression

  18. Eating disorders

  19. Diabetes

  20. Hyperparathyroidism

  21. Hyperthyroidism

  22. Irregular periods

  23. Cushing’s syndrome

  24. Thyrotoxicosis

  25. Premature menopause

  26. Low levels of testosterone

  27. Low levels of estrogen

  28. AIDS/HIV

  29. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema

  30. Female athlete triad (includes loss of menstrual periods, an eating disorder and excessive exercise)

  31. Chronic kidney disease

  32. Liver disease, including biliary cirrhosis

  33. Organ transplants

  34. Polio and post-polio syndrome

  35. Poor diet, including malnutrition

  36. Scoliosis

  37. Weight loss

  38. list source

Medicines Which May Cause Bone Loss


The question of what is osteoporosis also leads us to medicines and prescriptions. Did you expect less?

The relationships here are dynamic and dependent on combinations of medicines. Remember, the average number of prescriptions per person 18 and older in the US is 12 and almost 13.


Before you decide to make any changes to your medications, contact your healthcare provider. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risks of medicines you take and their effect on your bones. Make sure to check before you make any changes to your medications to make sure it is safe to do so.


Aluminum-Containing Antacids

If you know you are taking antacids containing aluminum, you should look here for more information and brands.


How Common is Osteoporosis?

According to the NOF:

  1. 10 million, or more people in the US have osteoporosis

  2. 44 million people in the US have low bone density putting then at risk for Osteoporosis

  3. 54 million Americans, 50% of adults over 50 are at risk of breaking a bone and should be concerned about bone health

What is the Cost of Osteoporosis?

The Financial Cost of Osteoporosis According to the US National Library of Medicine:

  1. In 2002 – $16 Billion [in 2002 dollars]

  2. In 2008 – $25 Billion [in 2018 dollars] [https://www.dollartimes.com/inflation/inflation.php?amount=1&year=2002]

  3. In 2014 – $34 Billion [based on the 2002-2008 increase]

  4. in 2020 – $43 Billion [based on the 2002-2008 increase]

  5. source

What Conclusions Can We Make?


In the US National Library of Medicine in a 2017 report, the sample size for the study was,

“7954 adults aged 50 years and older from four NHANES survey cycles between 2005-2006 and 2013-2014”.


Some may call that number insignificant, especially when considering 54,000,000 people affected by low bone density. So it is possible that Osteoporosis has more effect on the US population than websites state as fact.


On the other hand, we have slightly better data on the cost of Osteoporosis. The price is rising. We can not tell if it is caused by the number of cases or the cost per case increase. In either case, it is terrible news for the people who suffer from the condition.


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