Osteoporosis and Bone Health

Posted by on Mar 1, 2011 in Health Signals | 0 comments

 According to Osteoporosis Canada, at least 1.4 million Canadians over the age of 50 – one in four women and one in eight men  – suffer from this disease.

What is osteoporosis?
This disease has been called the “silent thief” because you may not experience any symptoms until a fracture occurs. Literally meaning “porous bones”, osteoporosis is a disease in which bones lose density, becoming more porous and therefore more fragile.

What are the risks?
More porous bones can lead to increased risk of fractures, especially of the hip, spine and wrist. Of the more than 25,000 hip fractures reported annually, 70% are caused by osteoporosis. Loss of bone strength also shortens the spine; thus seniors get shorter as they age. (Have you noticed that you or your parents seem to be shrinking?)

In addition to aging, here are the other risk factors for decreased bone density:

§  Body size: small weight and small bones

§  Family history of osteoporosis

§  Medical conditions that reduce the absorption of nutrients such as calcium

§  Some drug treatments, such as prednisone

§  Lifestyle: low calcium intake, excessive caffeine and alcohol use; and smoking.

To continue “standing tall”, here’s what you can do to lower your risk: 

1.    Consider taking a calcium supplement and Vitamin D if you’re not getting enough from food. Your pharmacist can help you select a supplement that is right for you. Choose a product with a Drug Identification Number (DIN) or General Product (GP) number. This indicates that the product meets Canadian quality standards. If you are curious about the absorption of a specific calcium product, place a tablet in vinegar – it should disintegrate within 30 minutes.

2.    Engage in regular physical activity. Both weight bearing and strength training exercise can help improve bone health.

3.    Talk to your doctor about Bone Mineral Density (BMD) testing.

To learn more, visit Osteoporosis Canada to find information on the latest research, programs and to find the center nearest you. http://www.osteoporosis.ca


Vol. 2, No. 23; © ElderWise Inc. 2006

You have permission to reprint this or any other ElderWise INFO articles, provided you reproduce it in its entirety, acknowledge our copyright, and include the following statement: Originally published by ElderWise Inc., Canada’s “go to” place for “age-smart” planning.  Visit us at http://elderwise.memwebs.com and subscribe to our FREE e-newsletter.

 

 

 

 

 

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