Women are much more likely to be affected by osteoporosis than men. According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, it is estimated that osteoporosis affects about 200 million women worldwide.
It happens in women because they start losing bone mass quickly as they age, due to their lower bone density. An average woman aged between 20 and 80 years loses one-third of her hip bone density compared to men.
The osteoporosis statistics show that 68 percent of the 44 million women are at a risk of being affected by osteoporosis; women over 50 years of age also have an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime, atleast once.
There are multiple reasons why women have osteoporosis, which are as follows:
- Women have smaller and thinner bones than men.
- Oestrogen, a hormone that protects the bones, decreases when women attain menopause, which can cause bone loss.
So, why are women more prone to osteoporosis? Here are the reasons.
Building Better Bones
Women at the age of 18 reach their peak bone mass, while men have it at 20. After that, both men and women continue to build bone mass in small amounts, but men add more than women. By the age of 30, bones are fully developed but there is no increase in bone mass past that point.
Osteoporosis And Oestrogen
There are so many hormones responsible for mood swings, migraines, etc., in women. Oestrogen is a hormone that helps to regulate a woman's reproductive cycle and helps to keep the bones strong. There is a significant amount of reduction in oestrogen level when a woman attains menopause and this causes bone loss and osteoporosis.
Women, who are at an increased risk of osteoporosis related to oestrogen levels if they experience irregular periods, have had their ovaries removed or are going through a menopause, as per a study.
Eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia can weaken the bones and escalate the risk of osteoporosis in women. If a woman has anorexia, she will become very thin and bulimia involves overeating followed by purging, sometimes through vomiting.
Osteoporosis can affect young people as well, including pre-menopausal women aged 20, 30 and 40 years. The term pre-menopausal refers to women who are still having regular periods and have not attained menopause. Some young women who have a low bone density have an increased chance of being affected by osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis In Young Adult Women
Young women who have a low bone density caused by low peak bone mass are more likely to get osteoporosis later on in life. Sometimes, pre-menopausal women have osteoporosis due to an underlying medical condition or a medicine that leads to bone loss.
Osteoporosis And Pregnancy
Some pregnant women develop a temporary type of osteoporosis during pregnancy. This is a rare case however and usually goes away after the woman gives birth.
Breastfeeding mothers should increase the intake of calcium and vitamin D foods to build strong bones. If you don't get enough of nutrients, your baby's calcium needs will be met by taking calcium from your bones, thus causing bone porosity and thereby osteoporosis.
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