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Osteoporosis Risk in Younger Women

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Topic Overview

During childhood and teen years, new bone grows faster than existing bone is absorbed by the body. After age 30, this process begins to reverse. As a natural part of aging, bone dissolves and is absorbed faster than new bone is made, and bones become thinner. You are more likely to have osteoporosis if you did not reach your ideal bone thickness (bone density) during your childhood and teenage years.

In women, bone loss increases around menopause, when ovaries produce less estrogen, a hormone that protects against bone loss. Younger women, especially in their 30s and 40s, are at lower risk for osteoporosis than older women. But your risk increases if you:

Recommended Related to Osteoporosis

10 Osteoporosis Questions to Ask Your Doctor

Since you’ve recently been diagnosed with osteoporosis, ask your doctor these questions at your next visit. Are there ways to keep osteoporosis from worsening? Can medications taken for other illnesses cause bone loss? How can I prevent fractures? How frequently should I have a bone density test? How much calcium and vitamin D do I need every day, and how can I get enough of these nutrients? How much exercise do I need to boost bone strength, and which exercises do you recommend? ...

Read the 10 Osteoporosis Questions to Ask Your Doctor article > >

  • Have already gone through menopause. Most women go through menopause starting in their 50s, but some women go through this change earlier.
  • Smoke.
  • Do not get regular weight-bearing exercise.
  • Do not get enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet.
  • Take corticosteroids or other medicines that may thin your bones.
  • Have more than about 1 alcoholic drink a day.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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