Which Conditions Can Cause Low Bone Density?

The endocrinologist will help figure out if your child has an underlying condition that is causing bone density to be low. Identifying the cause will help determine the appropriate treatment of low bone density in your child.

Underlying medical conditions that can cause low bone density include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Disorders of low weight
  • Low levels of reproductive (sex) hormones
  • Low levels of calcium and vitamin D in the body
  • Disorders that affect how well the gut absorbs nutrients that are important for building bone, including vitamin D
  • Low levels of vitamin D because of other medical concerns
  • Disorders that cause inflammation in the body
  • Low muscle tone
  • Long periods of not being able to move about
  • Long periods of insufficient or absent weight-bearing activity (weight bearing activities include walking, running, hopping and jumping)
  • Abnormal levels of certain other hormones (such as cortisol and parathyroid hormone) that affect how well the body can use minerals and other bone building material to strengthen bones
  • Certain genetic conditions, such as osteogenesis imperfecta.
  • Certain medications may also affect bone density. These include high doses of glucocorticoids (steroids), certain epilepsy medications and some chemotherapy medications.

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