Hormones and Your Bones

Download the full infographic (PDF)

Hormones are chemical messengers that play a role in your body’s systems. When it comes to bone health and bone density, hormones help prevent osteoporosis, a condition in which bones become weak and more susceptible to breaking. Hormonal problems can be one of the causes of osteoporosis, so it is important to understand the connection between hormones and osteoporosis.

What Is the Connection Between the Endocrine System and Osteoporosis?

Bone production is affected by both testosterone and estrogen, so both men and women can experience bone loss as they age. Levels of both hormones drop with age, with the risk being higher in women. Other hormonal imbalances, including thyroid or pituitary gland problems and lower hormone production connected with eating disorders, also can harm bone health.

Understanding Osteoporosis Risk and Prevention

While osteoporosis treatment continues to evolve and improve, prevention is the best way to fight the disease. Understanding whether you are at risk for developing it, and then taking measures to prevent it, can help you take control.

Some risk factors, including being over age 50, being female, entering menopause and having a family history of bone loss, cannot be controlled. If you have these risk factors, then focusing on lifestyle changes that support bone health is important.

Other risk factors can be controlled, aiding prevention. Diet is a huge factor. People who drink too much alcohol and avoid healthy fruits and vegetables or calcium-rich foods are at higher risk. A lack of sun exposure, leading to low vitamin D levels, is another risk. Poor exercise habits, losing too much weight too quickly and smoking also can put a person at risk.

So how can you prevent osteoporosis and improve hormone balance? First, examine your diet. Get enough fresh produce and calcium, adding supplements as needed to improve your daily intake. Focus on exercise, specifically weight-bearing exercise, and avoid smoking or overconsumption of alcohol. Consider being tested for hormonal issues that could be contributing to bone health disorders.

The Hormone Health Network supports patient education on such issues. To get your questions about hormones and bone health answered, talk to a qualified endocrinologist. Find one today!