Rheumatology diseases affect an estimated 1% of the world population every year. Looks like a small percentage, but that translates to 45 million people. Women are at a higher risk than men, especially over the age of 50. Rheumatology diseases are a list of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases that are caused by the immune system attacking the joints, the ligaments, bones and muscles of the human body. In certain severe cases, there is damage to internal organs as well.
There are several factors that can cause Rheumatology diseases to pop up. Here are some of them that you need to pay attention to:
- Age: The older you are, the greater is the risk you have of Rheumatology diseases like arthritis and osteoporosis. The bones degrade as you age, and lose a majority of its density.
- Genetics: Having parents or relatives who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, means that you are at greater risk of developing it as well. This is especially true if your mother or father has experienced a hip fracture.
- Body Frame: Females have smaller body frames and as a result end up attracting higher risk in terms of the lower bone mass to draw from as they get older.
- Hormones: When there is a drop in the production of sex hormone levels, it tends to weaken the bone. This is why women who are nearing the age of menopause at the ages of 50+ can lose their bone mass by an estimated 5% each following year for the next five years. Men who have had issues with their prostate, and produce lower testosterone levels are also affected by accelerated bone loss.
- Thyroid Issues: Thyroid problems lead to a drop in the production of thyroid hormones that are key to the development and growth of bone.
- Gastrointestinal Issues: Those who are suffering from Crohn’s disease and inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS) are at higher risk to contract rheumatology diseases. The ability of the body to extract necessary nutrients to aid in the further growth and maintenance in the bone mass is affected.
- Heavy Medication: Those who are under heavy medication that includes long-term oral and/or injected corticosteroid medication, such as cortisone and prednisone, are affected by the lapses in the bone-rebuilding process.
If you have ticked off a few of these, then it simply means that you are at a higher risk of contracting rheumatology diseases. It doesn’t ensure that you will have them. If you follow a calcium-rich diet and support it with regular exercise, then you will be at much better shape when you age.