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The causes of osteoporosis are varied. For example, the disease can be passed down through one's family: If your grandmother suffers from the disease, having at any point fallen and broken a hip, there is an increased chance that you will also experience osteoporosis at some point. As the disease is more common among women, doctors suggest the prescription drugs line, raloxifene, a selective estrogen receptor modulator, to treat osteoporosis. For men who are experiencing osteoporosis, prescriptions for testosterone have also shown to be an effective treatment.
How Osteoporosis Occurs
Through a natural process involving the body's bone multicellular units, the body breaks down old bone mass, using the osteoclast cells of bone marrow, to be replaced with newly formed bone. Through the natural effects of the aging process, this balance can be disrupted, leading to weakened bones that are liable to fracture. This is an occurrence that is also commonly linked to a condition called Paget's disease; however, one should know that osteoporosis and Paget's disease, a condition that typically affects small groups of bones, are separate conditions, though they are not always mutually exclusive.
One result of the bone remodeling/resorption process that ranks among the many causes of osteoporosis is inadequate peak bone mass. While the body still maintains the natural process of bone remodeling, the bone yielded is inadequate in terms of mass and strength. Excessive bone resorption can also result, leading to weaker bones. Lastly, there may be a lack of new bone that forms during the remodeling process. Thankfully, there are prescription drugs that fight all types of osteoporosis.
The Effects of Aging on Osteoporosis
Symptoms naturally associated with aging can also lead to osteoporosis. As a person's eyesight and natural balance depreciate, they are more at risk for accidental falls. As bones become more fragile during the aging process and skeletal muscle is lost (sarcopenia), these falls can be particularly damaging, resulting in fractures. Multiple falls experienced by aged persons are considered to be common causes of osteoporosis. Other conditions associated with aging, such as Parkinson's disease and dementia, certainly don't help matters. While prescription drugs, such as bisphosphonate, which can reduce the loss of bone mass, have been shown to work in fighting these effects, other prescription drugs can also increase risk for osteoporosis, such as certain barbiturates and prednisone.
Other Causes of Osteoporosis
These include forms of the disease that can stem from other pre-existing diseases. People with scoliosis (abnormally-shaped spine), those with inherited diseases, such as Gaucher's disease (marked by an excess of fatty substances in cells and organs), or hematologic disorders, such as sickle-cell disease and hemophilia, are more at risk for osteoporosis. Be sure to consult with your doctor on ways to avoid these causes of osteoporosis and avoid any prescription drugs that may lead to osteoporosis.