The Effects Of Smoking On Osteoporosis

Posted on: 4 April 2016

Osteoporosis is a condition that affects millions of people; however, you will have a higher chance of developing this if you smoke, especially if you are a woman. You are probably well aware of the many risks of smoking, but you may not realize just how much this habit can contribute to problems with your bones. Here are several things you should understand about osteoporosis in women and the ways smoking contributes to this irreversible condition.

What Is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a condition that occurs when your bone tissue breaks down and wears away. As you live, your bones are constantly replacing themselves with new tissue. As this happens, the old tissue in the bone wears away and is replaced with new tissue. The new tissue keeps your bones as strong as possible.

With osteoporosis, this process is disrupted. It causes the creation of new tissue to move at a slower pace than the removal of old tissue. The result of this is weakened bones. If you have osteoporosis, your bones will be weaker than they should be, and this will place you at a higher risk for breaking bones. If you fall, you are more likely to break a bone if you have osteoporosis than if you do not have this condition.

How Does Smoking Contribute To This Condition?

Smoking has a lot of negative effects on your body, and it can increase your risks of developing osteoporosis in several ways. The primary effect is that smoking increases the rate in which you lose bone mass, and here are some of the ways this may occur:

  • Smoking decreases amount of estrogen you make – When you smoke, you produce less estrogen, and estrogen is something that keeps bones strong.
  • It increases the free radicals in your body – Free radicals are molecules that destroy your body, including destroying your bone tissue.
  • It increases the amount of cortisol your body produces – Each time you smoke, your body may make more cortisol than it needs, and this too has damaging effects on bones.
  • It decreases the amount of calcium your bones can absorb – Calcium is what keeps bones strong, and Vitamin D helps your bones absorb calcium. The problem is that smoking prevents this from happening, and this results in weakened bones.
  • It makes you produce two proteins that are bad for bones – Newer research shows that smoking also makes you produce additional proteins that actually cause bones to weaken.

Smoking has many effects on your bones, which is why quitting is the best thing you can do.

What Effects Will Smoking And Osteoporosis Have In The Future?

Not only can smoking lead to developing osteoporosis, but it can also make the condition much worse. Women that smoke will not only have a higher chance of breaking a bone, but they may also have a higher chance of the following two things:

  • The bone brake may be a lot worse for a smoker than a non-smoker. The condition of your bones as a smoker are likely to be worse than those of a non-smoker, which is why your brake may be a lot more serious simply because you smoke.
  • It may take longer for the smoker's bone to heal than a bone of a non-smoker. The flow of oxygen in the blood plays a huge role in healing, and smokers tend to have less oxygen movement in their blood than non-smokers.

If you quit smoking, you can greatly improve the odds of preventing damage to your bones through osteoporosis. While quitting can be hard to do, it is one of the best steps you can take in life if you want to become healthier. To learn more about osteoporosis and the effects smoking has on it, contact a doctor or osteoporosis specialist, like those at Sarasota Arthritis Center, today.