Sunday, June 4, 2017
May is National Osteoporosis Month.
According to the NHS, over 500,000 people receive treatment for complications following osteoporisis ever year in the UK, while 3 million people are estimated to have the condition. Here, we take a look at what osteoporosis is, what the symptoms are, and what you can do to to prevent it.
Osteoporosis is a condition which causes the bones to become weaker, fragile and more prone to breaking. It tends to affect those that are older, and the condition is developed slowly over time.
Osteoporosis is caused by bones losing bone density, which makes them weaker and not as resilient. Typically this happens when a person gets older, and it is a normal part of the ageing process, however some people may be affected due to the following reasons:
- The menopause can cause women to develop osteoporosis sooner
- Hormone related conditions
- A family history of osteoporosis
- Having a low BMI
- Long term use of some medications
- Heavy drinking
- Heavy smoking
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Conditions such as Crohn's disease
- A person who experiences long periods of inactivity
When a persons bones first begin to weaken, it is hard to pinpoint any obvious symptoms. But as time goes on, certain symptoms will begin to present, which might alert you towards the condition. These are as follows:
- Back pain
- Gradual loss of height
- Incorrect or stooped posture
- Bone fractures or breakages that occured easier than expected
- Bone fractures of the spine, wrist or hip
If you believe you are at risk, or you are concerned about developing osteoporosis in later life, you can take steps towards maintaining healthy bones now. By regularly excerising, and incorporating weight and resistance training into your workouts, you can work to improve your bone density which will benefit you in later life.
Eating a balanced diet is also important, as it is important to gain all the nutrients recommended to maintain healthy bones, for example calcium and vitamin D are both important for maintaing healthy bones and teeth.
Certain lifestyle changes can also help to reduce the risks. If you smoke, consider giving it up, and be aware of reducing your alcohol consumption.
If you are concerned about osteoporosis, visit your doctor and they will be able to advise and offer any assistance.