- Risk Factors
- See a Doctor
Drinking soda and carbonated beverages significantly lowers bone density, which can cause osteoporosis to develop over time. The more soda you drink, the more bone density drops, which increases the risk of developing this disease.
How does drinking soda increase my risk of getting osteoporosis??
Bone is living tissue that constantly breaks down and is replaced by your body. Osteoporosis occurs when new bone creation can’t keep up with old bone loss. When you’re young, your body makes new bones faster than it can break down older ones. This means that as you age, bone mass is lost faster than you can create it.
While osteoporosis affects both men and women, postmenopausal white and Asian women are at the highest risk for getting it.
Drinking soda and carbonated beverages regularly tends to lower bone density, or the amount of bone mineral the bone tissues have. Studies show that among postmenopausal women, for example, drinking two servings of soft drinks daily increases the lifetime risk of bone fractures, especially in the hips.
The phosphoric acid used to enhance the flavor of soda interferes with calcium absorption and results in the loss of bone calcium. But drinking seltzer water doesn’t seem to have the same bone loss effect that soda consumption does.
What are some symptoms of osteoporosis??
While there aren't any symptoms during the early stages of osteoporosis, you may notice the following issues develop over time:
- Loss of height
- Stooped posture
- Bones break easily
- Back pain due to a collapsed or fractured vertebrae
- Bone fractures
If you think you may have osteoporosis, schedule an appointment with your doctor for testing.
What are some risk factors for getting osteoporosis??
Aside from soda consumption, several other factors may also contribute to getting osteoporosis. These include:
- Gender. Women are more likely to get osteoporosis than men.
- Age. The older you are, the higher the risk.
- Family history. Having a family member with osteoporosis makes you more susceptible to bone fractures.
- Body frame. Because they have less bone mass as they age, men and women with smaller frames are more likely to get osteoporosis.
- Chronic illnesses. Your risk of getting osteoporosis is higher if you have inflammatory bowel disease, Celiac disease, kidney disease, liver disease, multiple myeloma, or rheumatoid arthritis.
You have some control over the risk of getting osteoporosis by:
- Regulating your hormone levels. Osteoporosis is more common in those with too much or too little hormone.
- Having a healthy thyroid. Too much thyroid hormone causes the gland to become overactive, which can lead to bone loss. Taking too much thyroid hormone medication for an underactive thyroid can have the same effect.
- Eating calcium-rich foods. Low calcium levels lead to osteoporosis. Consuming nutrients rich in calcium, like leafy greens and almond milk, can help keep your bones healthy.
- Avoiding long-term use of steroids. Corticosteroids affect how bones rebuild.
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How is osteoporosis diagnosed?
A bone mineral density (BMD) test or dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scan uses small amounts of radiation to measure how strong the bones of your spine, hip, or wrist are. Standard X-rays can also detect osteoporosis when the disease has progressed.
Women aged 65 and older and men aged 70 and older should have bone density tests regularly. The DEXA scan is typically reserved for younger men or women with risk factors for developing osteoporosis.
How is osteoporosis treated?
Hormone therapy helps increase bone density. In women, for example, raloxifene acts like estrogen in the bone and helps reduce the risk of breast cancer. Estrogen therapy is also helpful for younger women as well as those symptoms of menopause. Men with low levels of testosterone can benefit from hormone therapy, too.
Biphosphonates stop the body from reabsorbing bone tissue. These antiresorptive drugs are prescribed to patients with a history of fragile bones or low bone density. They help strengthen bones and prevent future bone fractures, and they're often prescribed with vitamin D and calcium.
The following three bone-building, prescription medications are currently approved to help those with osteoporosis:
- Evenity® (romosozumab-aqqg)
- Forteo® (teriparatide)
- Tymlos® (abaloparatide)
When to see a doctor
If you’re a woman experiencing early menopause, have a family history of bone fractures, or have taken corticosteroids for months, you should speak to your doctor about osteoporosis.
Cutting soda and carbonated drinks out of your diet, eating healthy, being active, and having regular bone density tests will help reduce your risk of getting osteoporosis and ensure your bone health is at its best.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
American College of Rheumatology: “Bisphosphonate-Therapy.”?
Cleveland Clinic: “Osteoporosis.”
Harvard Health Publishing: “By the way, doctor: Does carbonated water harm bones?”?
Mayo Clinic: “Osteoporosis.”?
National Library of Medicine: “Association between soft drink consumption and osteoporotic fractures among postmenopausal women: the Women's Health Initiative.”?
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