Lupus – systemic lupus erythematosus – increases the risk of osteoporosis and bone loss. Lupus is an autoimmune disease that is more common among women. Osteoporosis has commonly been seen in lupus patients with risk factors including prolonged use of glucocorticoids, cyclophosphamide and possibly gonadotropin-releasing-hormone agonists. Specifically in premenopausal women with lupus, inflammation and medications to treat lupus can contribute to bone loss, which increases the risk of bone fractures.
Research has found that bone loss prevention in lupus patients should examine many areas, including calcium and vitamin D intake, age-appropriate supplementation and homocysteine. Patients experiencing bone loss should be monitored with bone mineral density scans to determine effectiveness of treatment.
Osteoporosis is a condition that, like lupus, mainly affects aging women. Risk factors for osteoporosis include family history, menopause, certain medications, lack of calcium, lack of physical activity, smoking, and alcohol consumption.
Many previous studies have found a link between lupus and osteoporosis. In fact, women with lupus have a five times greater risk of experiencing bone loss. There are many characteristics of lupus that contribute to osteoporosis. For starters, fatigue and low energy are symptoms of lupus that can deter a woman from partaking in exercise, which we know to be a risk factor for osteoporosis. Furthermore, medications commonly prescribed for lupus can also trigger bone loss. Lastly, some research has shown that bone loss is a direct complication of lupus disease itself.
When managing and treating osteoporosis, especially with lupus, many lifestyle factors come into play as they contribute quite a bit to the strength or weakness of bones. Therefore, in order to properly manage osteoporosis, changes to lifestyle can be effective in maintaining bone strength and density. Here are some tips to help better manage osteoporosis.
Lupus can increase common risk factors that are associated with osteoporosis, so the first step is to minimize such risk factors. These include exercising, even if you feel fatigued, getting enough calcium and vitamin D, and preventing falls. Furthermore, although you can’t change the fact that you are a woman, you can control risk factors while entering menopause. Speak to your doctor early on and become aware of your risks and how to reduce them.
Although osteoporosis and lupus do not have a cure, being education and conscious of what you do have control of can greatly reduce complications brought on by both diseases.
Lupus can contribute to pericarditis – inflammation of the pericardium, a part of the heart. Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can affect many areas of the body, including skin, joints and kidneys. Lupus can also affect the heart in numerous ways as the heart consists of many tissues that can become inflamed and scar. Arteries leading to the heart can narrow, causing damage and disrupting blood flow. Continue reading…
Although osteoporosis mainly affects the bones, a new link has emerged between osteoporosis and hearing loss. According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, one in three women over the age of 50 will develop osteoporosis – a disease categorized by bones becoming weak and brittle. While commonly referred to as a woman’s disease, men are not immune. Continue reading…