Diseases that cause bone loss

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1. Overview

Bone loss refers to the rapid deterioration of used bone tissue before being produced new bone tissue. Bones have a high content of mineral deposits and are composed of calcium.

Calcium and other materials inside the bones are broken forming new deposits that are designed to strengthen their density.

However, in the loss of bone mass case, strength and endurance of bones is affected; the bones become weak and fragile and thus can cause numerous health problems, including fractures.


1. Overview
2. Autoimmune disorders
3. Digestive and gastrointestinal disorders
4. Endocrine and hormonal disorders
5. Blood diseases
6. Other diseases and medical conditions

2. Autoimmune disorders

- Rheumatoid arthritis – is a form of arthritis that is associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis. Steroid medications used to treat this condition increase the risk of osteoporosis.

- Lupus – People with lupus may require medication that includes steroids, to keep under control the symptoms of this disease. Medications can cause bone loss and can cause osteoporosis.

3. Digestive and gastrointestinal disorders

- Celiac disease – People with celiac disease have trouble digesting foods with gluten, and difficulty absorbing nutrients, including calcium and vitamin D.

- Inflammatory bowel diseases – Different forms of these diseases, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis can cause bone loss. People who suffer from inflammatory bowel disease often use steroid drugs to treat these conditions and may have difficulty absorbing calcium and vitamin D needed for bone health.

- Surgery for weight loss – weight loss surgical procedures such as gastric bypass surgery can significantly help people lose weight in a short time, but the sudden loss of a large number of pounds can lead to decreased bone mass.

4. Endocrine and hormonal disorders

- Diabetes – People with diabetes have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis. Type 1 diabetes seems to cause bone loss in a significant amount, but both those suffering from type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes have an increased risk of bone fracture.

- Hyperparathyroidism is a condition in which the parathyroid glands produce too much parathyroid hormone. Manifestation of the disease causes bone loss. The condition is most common in women after menopause.

- Absence of menstrual periods – If a woman is young and does not have regular menstrual periods, this could mean the presence of low levels of estrogen. The loss of estrogen and excessive weight loss can affect the bones.

- Testosterone levels – In men, testosterone plays an important role in maintaining bone health. Low levels of testosterone suggest that there is a problem that should be evaluated. Testosterone is especially important for men because lower values can lead to bone loss.

5. Blood diseases

- Leukemia and lymphoma – Many medicines, including those used in chemotherapy to treat these two forms of cancer can lead to bone loss and osteoporosis.

- Multiple myeloma – Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the bone marrow. Among the onset of disease symptoms can include back pain and bone fractures in the spine.

- Sickle cell disease – People with sickle cell disease may need to use several types of drugs, including steroids to keep control of disease manifestations. Medications can cause bone loss and osteoporosis.

6. Other diseases and medical conditions

Many health problems, including genetic disorders, kidney, lung and digestive system disease can cause osteoporosis or broken bones. Among the conditions that can cause bone loss could be:

- Neurological and nervous system disorders – stroke, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis restrict the mobility of the patients who suffer from these conditions. Patients have high chances to be unable to move, are more likely to fall and have low levels of vitamin D.

- Breast cancer – Aromatase inhibitors are used to treat women suffering from breast cancer, and these help reduce estrogen levels in the body. One of the consequences could be the loss of bone mass and bone fracture risk.

- Depression – Research suggests that people with depression have higher chances of having low bone density or osteoporosis. One of the reasons could be the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor to treat the disease.

- Organ transplant – Those who have had an organ transplant should use different types of drugs to prevent organ rejection. Some of these drugs can weaken bones.

- Prostate cancer – androgen deprivation therapy is commonly used to treat men with prostate cancer. Because these drugs reduce the amount of male sex hormones in the body, the result could be bone loss and broken bones.

Any person suffering from any of these diseases, which can cause bone loss and osteoporosis should consult his doctor and call for investigations:
- Ankylosing Spondylitis;
- Blood and bone marrow disorders;
- Breast cancer;
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, including emphysema;
- Depression;
- Diabetes;
- Eating disorders, especially anorexia nervosa;
- Gastrectomy;
- Gastrointestinal bypass procedures;
- Hyperparathyroidism;
- Hyperthyroidism;
- Inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis;
- Chronic kidney disease;
- Liver diseases, including primary biliary cirrhosis;
- Lymphoma and leukemia;
- Malabsorption syndromes, including celiac disease;
- Multiple myeloma;
- Multiple sclerosis;
- Organ transplant;
- Parkinson’s disease;
- Polio and post-polio syndrome;
- Poor diet, including malnutrition.
- Premature menopause
- Prostate cancer
- Attrition arthritis
- Scoliosis
- Spinal cord injury
- Stroke
- Thalassemia
- Thyrotoxicosis
- Weight loss.



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