KNOW YOUR BONES
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is defined as “porous bone,” it is a disorder that weakens and depletes the strength of the bones, leaving them more brittle and susceptible to breaking . You can take steps to lower your chance of having osteoporosis, and there are effective therapies available for those who already have it .
How common is osteoporosis?
According to Healthy Bones Australia (2021), there are over one million Australians living with osteoporosis, and 66% of adults aged 50 years and over have osteoporosis or osteopenia. Due to poor bone health, there are roughly 173,000 shattered bones per year .
Who can develop Osteoporosis?
Anyone can develop this disease, although women commonly undergo a period of accelerated bone loss after menopause and are more likely to develop osteoporosis . The body begins to break down more bone than you gain at around 50 years old, this is something we all experience but does not mean everyone will develop Osteoporosis, so being aware of our bone health and understanding osteoporosis is important in noticing the symptoms and lowering your chances of developing the disease .
What are the symptoms of osteoporosis?
The most prominent sign of osteoporosis is broken or fractured bones as a result of minor trauma, such as falling over .
Additional signs include:
- A gradual decrease in height
- Stress fractures that can feel like joint or muscle pain .
Tips for bone health
You can take several steps to lower your chance of developing osteoporosis .
Steps you can take to reduce your risk:
- Be aware; discuss osteoporosis with your doctor .
- Learn as much as you can about osteoporosis. Being aware means that you can make informed decisions about your healthcare and play an active role in managing it .
- Keep active with regular exercise and speak with a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist about an exercise programme designed especially for you .
- Talk to your doctor if you feel unsteady and are frightened you could fall or if you’ve fallen before .
- Quit smoking. In addition to the many other health problems associated with smoking, it has also been linked to decreased bone density .
- Consume alcohol, caffeine, and salt in moderation, they can adversely influence your bone density. Alcohol also raises the possibility of falling and breaking a bone .
If you have any concerns about osteoporosis or your risk of developing it, visit your doctor.
Your doctor will examine your medical history, including your family history, and will determine your risk factors for developing osteoporosis. After assessing your risk factors, your doctor will then decide whether you need to have a bone scan.
You can book an appointment with a doctor at Mermaid Central Medical Clinic by calling us on (07) 5575 2444 or you can book online.
* This is not medical advice and should not be taken as such. Please see your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
- Healthdirect Australia. (2022). Osteoporosis. https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/osteoporosis/.
- Healthy Bones Australia. (2021). About Bones. https://healthybonesaustralia.org.au/your-bone-health/about-bones/.
- Musculoskeletal Australia. (2022). Understanding Osteoporosis. https://msk.org.au/osteoporosis/.
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