8 Diseases That Up Your Risk of Osteoporosis

Aging isn’t the only factor that raises your risk of osteoporosis

A number of conditions can raise your risk for osteoporosis and increase the risk of bone loss and fractures, even in younger people. If you suffer from any of these conditions, your doctor will likely recommend you take calcium and vitamin D, and possibly medication, as well as follow other preventive measures.

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Chronic inflammation can lead to weakened bones.

Chronic inflammation can lead to weakened bones.


“With autoimmune disorders, there are circulating chronic inflammatory factors that make people prone to bone loss,” says Robert Recker, MD, professor of medicine, and director of the Osteoporosis Research Center, Creighton University. In addition, a common treatment for autoimmune disorders is taking steroid medications to reduce inflammation, but steroids can weaken bones. Rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease of the joints, has been strongly linked to osteoporosis. Because the disease causes pain and loss of movement, patients tend to be less active, which can also weaken bones. “Almost everyone who has rheumatoid arthritis should be also given osteoporosis medication, as well as calcium and vitamin D,” says Dr. Recker. Other autoimmune disorders, such as lupus and multiple sclerosis, also increase the risk for osteoporosis, and patients should discuss their risk with their physician.