As you may already know, osteoporosis is a condition where your bones will get weaker and become prone to damage and fractures easily. As you age, the production of bone tissues in your body will decrease, hence, it cannot cope up with the loss of bone mass. Therefore, your bone density will decrease causing your bones to weaken. This is a common condition that is found in people when they age.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is another disease that also comes with age. Even though RA can be caused by some other reasons, it is usually found in old people. This is a disease that is associated with the joints. People with RA can have swelling, pain, inflammation etc. in their joints.
Most people are aware of both osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis, but what they do not know is that RA can become a risk factor for osteoporosis. Among the other osteoporosis causes, RA can be a prevalent factor which can worsen this condition. Hence, if RA leads to osteoporosis, such patients will have to take osteoporosis treatment in addition to RA medications.
How RA can cause osteoporosis?
Inflammation: People with RA can have inflammation all over the body, especially in joints. Their joints can swell and break down. This can also weaken the bones associated with the joints that RA affected.
Your body continuously make new bones for replacing the bones that are breaking down. But RA will interfere with this cycle and it reduces the making of bones and speeds up the bone loss. This will cause your bones to get weaker, eventually leading to osteoporosis.
Also, the inflammation caused by RA can make it difficult for your body to absorb minerals and other nutrients that are required for bone health.
RA can reduce your mobility: Rheumatoid arthritis can make your joints stiff and achy. It can also cause you tiredness. Therefore, your physical activities will be reduced. You may not be able to indulge in activities like walking, running, etc., that help to keep your bones strong. Lack of exercise will make your bones weaker over time. Hence, this can lead to osteoporosis.
Steroid drugs: Some of the drugs you use to treat RA can also become one of the osteoporosis causes. Using such drugs for a long time will reduce the strength of your bones. These drugs can make it difficult for your body to absorb elements like vitamin D and Calcium etc. that are essential for your bones. This can deteriorate your bone health, thereby leading to osteoporosis.