How Young Can Osteoporosis Strike?

You don’t need to be over 50 to suffer bone loss and increase your risk of fracture.

Osteoporosis is a condition we often associate with aging. It happens when a person has low bone mass, and their bone tissue is deteriorating. But is it exclusively something that hits in older age?

If the illness is going to develop, yes, most often osteoporosis surfaces when a person is over the age of 50.

But young people can also get it, and unfortunately, there isn’t a foolproof cure.

If you suffer from an eating disorder, you’re likely depriving your body of nutrients, which can increase your odds of developing osteoporosis later in life.

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Those with what is called a “low peak bone mass” can develop the illness as early as their 20s, 30s, and 40s. It can be due to an underlying medical condition, or sometimes a person is taking a medication over a period of time that causes bone loss, as a side effect.

This type of osteoporosis is called secondary osteoporosis. And sometimes there is simply no known cause, at all. Idiopathic osteoporosis is this mysterious type that seems to surface for no reason, and is very rare.

If you’re living with osteoporosis, you have an increased risk of fracturing your bones, especially your hips, spine, wrists and shoulders. It’s a sneaky disease as it can creep up on you over many years, without any telling symptoms until you realize you have it.

How can you prevent it? As with so many illnesses, eat a balanced diet, get enough weight-bearing exercise, and don’t smoke or drink.

To learn more about having your bone density tested, click here.

Photo credit: Crevis/Shutterstock

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