Weight Loss And Osteoporosis

Obesity-related health problems, such as metabolic syndrome, are now widely known and common. On the flip side, it is also known that “weight loss” can not only cause various health problems but can also lead to osteoporosis. Nowadays, the desire to be slim and beautiful has led to an increase in diet consciousness, and the number of women who weigh less than the standard weight is increasing. Osteoporosis often develops in old age, but it is important to note that an unreasonable diet increases the risk of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a bone disease that reduces bone density, makes bones brittle, and increases the risk of fractures.


Bone density increases rapidly in teens and reaches a maximum in the 20s. After that, it is possible to slightly increase bone density until the mid-40s by paying attention to exercise and nutrition, but it is not possible to increase it rapidly. It is basically important to maintain bone density from the time when the bone density reaches the maximum amount until it begins to decrease in the 40s and 50s.

Therefore, it is important to increase bone density as much as possible during the young adult years and to maintain bone density after the growth period in preparation for future bone density loss. Excessive dieting will reduce the amount of bone that should be stored for the postmenopausal period when bone density loss is significant.


First off, find out if you really need to diet.  Though imperfect, your BMI will help you get a rough idea about your proper weight and obesity. BMI is a body mass index that indicates the ratio of body weight to height and is also used to determine obesity.

If you have a BMI of 25 or more, you are most likely overweight or obese, and you are more likely to have high blood pressure, dyslipidaemia, diabetes, etc., so try to get close to your proper weight with a reasonable diet and exercise therapy. Conversely, if your BMI is less than 18.5, dieting may have unfavorable effects on your bones.


Why can being too thin and rapid weight loss be bad for bones? There are three main causes.

  1. Reduced hormone secretion: Sudden loss of weight reduces the function of the ovaries and reduces the secretion of female hormones. This female hormone is called estrogen (estrogen), which promotes secondary sexual features in women and creates a feminine body. It suppresses the action of osteoclasts that break down bones, thus estrogen promotes bone formation. Estrogen is mainly made in the ovaries, but similar substances are also made in fat cells, so when you lose weight, the amount of estrogen in your body decreases, leading to a decrease in bone density.
  2. Insufficient load on bones: Bones are designed to resist body load and become stronger when a moderate load is applied, such as weight or exercise. If you lose too much weight on a diet, your load will be low, and your bones may be weakened.
  3. Undernourishment: the nutritional balance of the diet is disturbed in excessive dieting, resulting in a lack of nutrition needed to build bones. These extreme dietary restrictions cause lack of energy and nutrition needed to maintain a healthy body, leading to malnutrition. Undernutrition leads to osteoporosis due to calcium and vitamin D deficiency and anemia due to iron deficiency. In addition, recent studies have reported that undernutrition in pregnant and young women increases the risk of future lifestyle-related diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes in their children.


The first point is to adjust your diet so that calorie restriction is not synonymous with calcium, protein and vitamin D restriction. A nutritionist can help a lot in this regard, possibly prescribing well-structured meal planning.

Other than that, physical exercises must, of course, enter the routine. Physical therapy can be very helpful in this stage, especially if osteoporosis has already been settling in. The physical therapists at Countryside Home Health Care can help the elderly create an individualized home health physical therapy and exercise maintenance program designed to combat osteoporosis. 

For those who have not yet been diagnosed with osteoporosis, sports that generate a little impact on the bone are encouraged. This is because frequent shocks against the ground also cause the bones to strengthen.

Finally, remember that smoking and alcohol consumption are risk factors for osteoporosis. Your body framework will be thankful if you avoid them during your weight loss regime.


Shereen Lehman, MS, Stuart Hershman, MD, How Diet Affects Osteoporosis Risk, 2020.

Retrieved from: https://www.verywellhealth.com/how-does-diet-affect-osteoporosis-risk-2506742

Paul Rogers, Jonathan Cluett, MD, How Exercise Prevents Osteoporosis; You can help prevent bone loss with weight training, 2020.

Retrieved from: https://www.verywellhealth.com/best-exercises-to-prevent-osteoporosis-3498695

William Morrison, M.D, Debra Stang, What Do You Want to Know About Osteoporosis? 2019.

Retrieved from: https://www.healthline.com/health/osteoporosis


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