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What causes osteoporosis?

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Many things play a role. For instance, a decrease in estrogen at menopause is one cause. There is also a genetic component. If your mother or grandmother had osteoporosis, the chances are higher that you will get it, too. Eating a diet that's low in calcium, getting little exercise, and smoking cigarettes can also increase your chances of getting osteoporosis.

From: Causes of Osteoporosis WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

National Osteoporosis Foundation: "A debilitating disease that can be prevented and treated."

National Osteoporosis Association: "Osteoporosis."

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: "Osteoporosis: The Bone Thief."

National Institute of Aging: "Osteoporosis: Risk Factors and Prevention."

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on November 18, 2017

SOURCES:

National Osteoporosis Foundation: "A debilitating disease that can be prevented and treated."

National Osteoporosis Association: "Osteoporosis."

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: "Osteoporosis: The Bone Thief."

National Institute of Aging: "Osteoporosis: Risk Factors and Prevention."

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on November 18, 2017

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How can menopause increase your risk for osteoporosis?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.