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Weight gain and fatigue go hand-in-hand with thyroid problems, but did you know that an unhealthy thyroid can mean unhealthy bones, too?
Osteoporosis is considered a silent disease because it displays no obvious signs. Not surprising then, that it creeps up on 80 percent of Indian women and nearly 1.5 million Indian men. The same goes for bone density loss caused by thyroid problems. This means that many people are unaware of any bone health issues until an injury occurs. A minor slip can often lead to a fracture, thereby setting in motion a series of tests to determine why, after such a small incident, the bones broke.
Weak bones can be attributed to low levels of calcium and vitamin D, but that's not all. There are more factors — like your thyroid's health — to consider.
What Causes Osteoporosis?
Our bones are constantly being remodeled to allow the skeleton to grow and repair. During this process, some bone is dissolved and replaced with new bone. This bone replacement is affected by multiple factors, which include calcium and vitamin D, physical activity and hormones. Any imbalance in these factors affects the intricate balance of your bone replacement, causing reduced bone mineral density and, ultimately, osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis, which means "porous bones," weakens your bone architecture, making bones fragile and more susceptible to breakage. With normal ageing, bone density loss begins after you turn 35, resulting in primary osteoporosis. In post-menopausal women, bone loss increases due to the lack of oestrogen, resulting in post-menopausal osteoporosis.
Other conditions — such as Cushing's syndrome, hypoparathyroidism and thyroid hormone disorders — could also be weakening your bones. Several medications may also lead to reduced bone mineral density, resulting in the weakening of bones.
The Link Between Thyroid Problems and Osteoporosis
Although they're frequently associated with weight issues, thyroid problems are also linked to bone health. Your thyroid gland is responsible for regulating the metabolism of the entire body, including the bones. Any disturbance in thyroid hormones levels disrupts the intricate balance of bone dissolution and replacement at multiple molecular levels.
High levels of thyroid hormones, or hyperthyroidism, cause rapid bone loss, and new bone might not be as strong as the bone lost. This process of increased bone loss over time causes osteoporosis. Hypothyroidism, which slows your body's metabolism, also slows down your bone's metabolism. In people with hypothyroidism, the bone formation process is slowed 50 percent, and bone resorption 40 percent.
How to Maintain or Improve Bone Health
Ensuring adequate intake of minerals and vitamins and getting regular physical activity will help you have better control of your body, but you can also take these precautions to avoid falls that often result in fractures.
While the risk of osteoporosis and fractures can increase with thyroid problems and other medical conditions, these tips will help you take control of your bone health.
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