Osteoporosis prevention & treatment
Particularly common in older women, Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become increasingly fragile and prone to breaking. It often remains undetected until the patient actually breaks a bone for the first time.
Although Osteoporosis mainly affects post-menopausal women, men can also have it. It begins to occur in early middle age as more bone cells are lost than are replaced - bone density decreases, and the bones weaken.
Risk factors include:
This condition is very common - an estimated three million people in the UK have it, with around 230,000 fractures each year occurring as a result.
- Low testosterone levels (men)
- Long-term use of corticosteroid medication
- Maternal osteoporosis
- Heavy drinking
- Lack of exercise
- Low body weight
- Medical conditions that affect absorption of nutrients (e.g. celiac disease)
Prevention is far better than treatment, and relatively easy to achieve. The main actions would include increasing the calcium in your diet, and increasing the amount of weight-bearing exercise you do (e.g. walking, running, weight training). In addition, reducing alcohol consumption and quitting smoking will make a significant reduction in your risk.