In conventional Western medicine, there is a technical distinction between “primary” and “secondary” osteoporosis. Primary osteoporosis is what most of us think of when we talk about bone health — its causes are complex and it occurs as a discrete diagnosis. Secondary osteoporosis is caused directly by another disease or condition, and it is diagnosed in conjunction with that condition. Secondary osteoporosis should always be ruled out when excessive bone loss occurs.

Causes of secondary osteoporosis include:

  • Hyperparathyroidism
  • Cushing’s Syndrome
  • Hypogonadism
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Lymphomas
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Osteogenesis imperfecta
  • Scurvy
  • Chronic renal failure
  • Malabsorption
  • Myeloma

The good news is that the steps to building strong and healthy bone are helpful regardless of the source of your osteoporosis. But it goes without saying that if you have secondary osteoporosis, treating the underlying disease or disorder is paramount to your bone health program.

Return to risk factors