This just in: Smoking is bad for you

Ok, maybe that’s not so new. And while many of us already know that smoking tobacco is the number one cause of preventable death, and it has a devastating impact on your heart and lungs, many would be surprised to find that it also has serious and lasting negative impacts to your bones and muscles – commonly referred to as your musculoskeletal health.

There are Many impacts With Smoking and Your Health

Here are just a few of the delightful effects smoking has on your musculoskeletal health:

  • Increases your risk of osteoporosis – this is the weakening of the bones that increases the chances of fractures. Older people who smoke are 30 to 40% more likely to break their hips than their non-smoking counterparts for instance. In fact, smoking after age 30 speeds up your loss of bone mass factor – it occurs 150% to 200% faster. While your whole body will lose bone mass, hips, spines, and wrist are most severely affected.
  • Absorption of calcium – Smoking interferes with the absorption of calcium into your bones from your diet. Without calcium, smokers develop more fragile bones. Vitamin D helps bones to absorb calcium, but smoking interferes how your body uses vitamin D.
  • Lower your estrogen levels – Smoking over time will lower your estrogen levels in both men and women. While some men do not see this as a problem, the truth is that estrogen is important because it helps bones hold calcium and the other minerals that make them strong.
  • Suffer from tendonitis? – If you smoke, you are 1.5 times more likely to suffer from overuse injuries such as bursitis or the aforementioned tendonitis than nonsmokers.

How does smoking increase the risk of osteoporosis?

If you choose to smoke in your bone-building years, your bone mass will peak at lower levels than non-smokers. This, in turn, puts at risk in your later years. To be clear, the more you smoke, the greater the risk you have for osteoporosis. When you consider how prevalent falls are in causing injury to older adults, this is a serious medical issue that often gets overlooked.

Also alarming is that smoking simply reduces the efficacy of many medications that help prevent osteoporosis.

Why should you never lie before surgery?

This is just a few of the effects that smoking has on you that are not so obvious. Ever wonder why doctors ask if you are a smoker while evaluating you for surgery? It’s because smokers have a higher risk for post-surgical complications such as infection and poor wound healing than nonsmokers – and the overall benefits of many surgical procedures are lessened.

Quitters do win

Are you a long-time smoker? If you quit smoking today, while you can magically reverse the impact you’ve done to your body already, would at least eliminate one of the causes of osteoporosis.