According to the NHS, Osteoporosis affects more than 3 million people in the UK. In this latest blog post, we explain what Osteoporosis is, the symptoms, how you can help to prevent it and how to manage the condition.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a health condition which weakens bones. As our bones lose strength, they become more fragile and likely to break. Osteoporosis is commonly called the ‘silent disease’ as very few people who have the condition know until they break or fracture a bone. The most common injuries in people living with the disease include broken wrists, broken hips and broken spinal bones (areas which are more vulnerable).
According to Age UK, approximately 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men over 50 will break a bone due to Osteoporosis.
What are the symptoms?
Osteoporosis can be hard to spot in the earlier stages, as there is no immediate pain until a bone is broken. An easily broken bone is often the first sign of the condition for many people.
A stooped posture in older people can also be an indication of Osteoporosis. This happens when bones in the spine have broken, which makes it more difficult for the spine to support our body’s weight.
What are the main causes of Osteoporosis?
Losing bone density is a natural part of ageing. However, some people lose bone density much more quickly than normal which can lead to Osteopososis. Some of the main risk factors which can cause the condition include; heavy drinking and smoking, lack of regular exercise, a low body mass index (BMI), family history of Osteoporosis and other medical conditions.
How can I manage Osteoporosis?
Leading a healthy lifestyle is one of the best ways we can protect and prevent ourselves from Osteoporosis. Exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, reducing smoking and alcohol consumption all help to reduce the risk to ourselves. The NHS also recommends taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D if you’re at risk of developing the condition.
If you have been diagnosed with Osteoporosis, removing fall hazards from your home can prevent yourself from any immediate harm. Having regular sight and hearing checks are also recommended.
According to The Royal Osteoporosis Society, Osteoporosis treatments can help to strengthen bones, whilst also reducing the risk of breaking a bone. Various treatments are available, which can both slow down the breaking down of bone density, as well as stimulating the cells which build new bone.
Monitor your health
Just as with all diseases, prevention is the best approach. Early diagnosis and treatment of Osteoporosis is essential in stopping fractures and breakages.
If you would like a check up, we have an Osteoporosis scanning service available at our Yeovil clinic. This can help detect the signs of reduced bone density. To find out more, get in touch.