Treating someone with established osteoporosis is
difficult, and therefore the key is to prevent it from developing in the first
Identifying your risk factors early can help stop
bone loss sooner rather than at a more advanced stage, when it may be more
difficult to treat.
Because there are no real symptoms until a fracture
happens, we call it the Silent Disease. You cannot feel your bones thinning --
it is similar to not feeling high cholesterol and ending up having a heart
attack! When a bone finally breaks it may be too late.
BE PROACTIVE AND FIND OUT YOUR RISK!
Common risk factors
know the damage smoking does to your heart and lungs, but few know that
compared to non-smokers, smokers have an up to 1.8 times higher risk of hip
Excessive alcohol use
drink more than two units of alcohol per day, you have a 40% increased risk of
suffering an osteoporotic fracture. Moderate drinking is beneficial to overall
health and your bones.
Excessive leanness and poor
Mass Index of below 19 is considered underweight and a risk factor for
osteoporosis, especially if you follow a low kilojoule diet low in bone-health
nutrients like calcium, protein and vitamin D. Poor nutrition in the elderly is
particularly concerning because they are more prone to falls and fractures.
Vitamin D deficiency
usually made in the skin as a result of sun exposure, is essential for the
absorption of calcium and therefore bone health. Few foods contain vitamin D,
and nowadays young and old spend less time in the sun
-- and when
we do, we wear sunblock. What all of this boils down to is that vitamin D
deficiency has become a global problem.
percent of hip fractures occur when older people fall. Poor eyesight, impaired
balance, dementia and medication all increase the risk of falling.
don’t exercise you lose muscle mass and also bone density. Regular
weightbearing and muscle strengthening exercises are therefore very important
for bone health. In the elderly, immobility often leads to a hip fracture as a
result of poor muscle strength and reflexes.
disorders like anorexia and bulimia lead to malnourishment and extreme weight
loss, and because important nutrients like calcium, protein and vitamin D are
underprovided, bone health suffers as a result.
Recent loss of height
have lost more than 3cm in the past year, it can be a sign of vertebral (spine)
fractures caused by osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis Foundation of South Africa NOFSA www.osteoporosis.org.za
Osteoporosis Foundation IOF www.worldosteoporosisday.org
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