Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month – May 2016
It is estimated that around 3 million people in the UK have osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition in which the usually strong support struts that make up the inside of most bones becomes thinner, which can lead to bones becoming fragile and breaking easily, resulting in pain and disability.
In the UK, one in two women and one in five men over the age of 50 will fracture a bone, mainly due to poor bone health. But osteoporosis is often a silent condition, giving no pain or other symptoms to alert you to the fact until the worst happens and a bone breaks. As such, many people living with osteoporosis are unaware that they have fragile bones until this happens, sometimes with devastating consequences. Indeed an alarming new study published by the International Osteoporosis Foundation suggested that 37% of men that sustain an osteoporosis related hip fracture will die in the first year following the break.
Those that smoke or drink in excess of the recommended daily alcohol intake are at greater risk, but gender, genetics, age, race and low body weight are all contributing factors.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom. There is a lot you can do to prevent the condition, and to reduce your chance of breaking a bone if you do get it. The best prevention is a good diet high in vegetables, healthy fats and fermented foods to ensure that you are getting a good balance of calcium, vitamin D and Vitamin K. Without the D and K calcium supplements will likely be excreted or taken into your artery walls rather than bones. Weight bearing exercise throughout your life is also critical to warding off osteoporosis, but it is important to remember that it is never too late to start. Bone is not an inert substance but throughout our lives will respond and strengthen if loaded appropriately. Please come in and make an appointment if you want any help with diet or exercise to prevent or minimise the effects of osteoporosis.
To find out more about the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis, contact the National Osteoporosis Society via their confidential helpline (0808 800 0035) or by visiting their website at: www.nos.org.uk