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  • Osteoporosis is a skeletal disorder that causes bone loss, low bone mass, and increases your chance of developing bone fractures. Those who experience bone fractures due to osteoporosis may feel extreme discomfort and pain.

    This bone disease can be made worse by alcohol abuse. In fact, those who participate in heavy alcohol use have an increased risk of osteoporosis. 

    Those who have osteoporosis are encouraged to manage their alcohol intake in order to avoid the worsening of symptoms.  

    Risks Factors For Developing Osteoporosis

    In addition to heavy alcohol consumption, there are a variety of risk factors for developing osteoporosis. Some of these include:

    • smoking
    • lack of exercise
    • early menopause
    • decreased absorption of calcium
    • a thin frame
    • unusual menstrual periods
    • prolonged use of certain medications
    • the elderly

    Alcohol & Osteoporosis

    Those who are elderly have an increased risk of bone breakdown, hip fractures, and other health conditions brought on by alcohol and osteoporosis.

    However, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) notes that postmenopausal women who participate in moderate drinking are less likely to obtain bone fractures. This is one of the beneficial effects of moderate drinking.

    Effects Of Alcohol On Osteoporosis

    The effects of alcohol can cause a number of problems for those with osteoporosis. For instance, alcohol can prevent bone formation and cause calcium and vitamin D deficiencies. 

    Alcohol affects how your body absorbs these nutrients and vitamins. If your body isn’t receiving enough calcium due to your excessive drinking, low bone mineral density (BMD) and bone turnover may occur.

    Hormone Deficiencies

    Healthy bones can be damaged due to too many alcoholic drinks. Binge drinkers and those who drink frequently can develop hormone deficiencies. Men may produce less testosterone which can cause osteoblasts. Osteoblasts are bone cells that stimulate bone formation.

    In women, excess alcohol consumption can lead to irregular menstrual cycles which causes estrogen levels to be reduced. Estrogen assists with bone remodeling which can be interrupted by alcohol. 

    Decrease In Overall Bone Health

    Alcohol affects bone health and causes a higher risk of fractures and osteopenia, commonly referred to as bone loss.

    Addressing Alcohol Abuse & Osteoporosis

    Although moderate alcohol consumption doesn’t seem to have a negative impact on new bone formation, heavy drinking can cause numerous issues. If your calcium intake is low, your doctor may suggest certain foods and vitamins. 

    Physical Activity & Diet

    In order to help with osteoporosis pain and other symptoms, it’s important to regularly engage in some form of physical activity. 

    There are several dietary factors you’ll want to consider as well such as abstaining from alcohol. It’s important to maintain a balanced diet to assist with positive bone development.

    Alcohol Addiction Treatment

    Avoiding heavy alcohol use can reduce the risk of decreased bone health. If you or a loved one are drinking too much alcohol, professional treatment programs may help.

    Alcohol treatment programs likely include detox services to manage withdrawal, as well as support groups, counseling, and other recovery-oriented activities.

    To learn more, please contact us today.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2024 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - Does Osteoporosis Run in Your Family?
    National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) - Alcohol and Other Factors Affecting Osteoporosis Risk in Women
    National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases - What People Recovering From Alcoholism Need To Know About Osteoporosis
    US National Library of Medicine: MedlinePlus - Osteoporosis

    Medically Reviewed by
    Manish Mishra, MBBS
    on August 11, 2021
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