- Physical inactivity
- Reduced levels of estrogen
- Excessive cortisone or thyroid hormone
- Excessive alcohol intake
The loss of bone tends to occur most in the spine, lower forearm above the wrist, and upper femur or thigh-the site of hip fractures. Spine fractures, wrist fractures, and hip fractures are common injuries in older persons.
A gradual loss of bone mass, generally beginning about age 35, is a fact of life for everyone. After growth is complete, women ultimately lose 30% to 50% of their bone density, and men lose 20% to 30%.
Women lose bone calcium at an accelerated pace once they go through menopause. Menstrual periods cease because a woman's body produces less estrogen hormone, which is important for the maintenance of bone mass or bone strength. Your family doctor or gynecologist may evaluate and recommend a treatment program of estrogen replacement therapy, calcitonin or other medications. To be most effective, the treatment program should begin at menopause.