Oct 20, 2021 by EMPWellness Admin
October 20 each year, marks a year-long campaign dedicated to raising global awareness of the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of osteoporosis. WOD aims to make osteoporosis and fracture prevention a global health priority by reaching out to health-care professionals, the media, policymakers, patients, and the public at large. The campaign will feature “THAT’S OSTEOPOROSIS” as a headline, highlighting emotionally impactful visuals and stories of real people living with osteoporosis in all regions of the world.
The campaign will emphasize the direct link between osteoporosis (the silent, underlying disease) and broken bones, which have a serious, life-changing impact in terms of pain, disability, and lost independence. It will also focus on osteoporosis as a ‘family affair,’ with family caregivers often carrying the burden of care, and the disease affecting multiple generations of the family.
- Osteoporosis is the underlying cause of painful, debilitating, and life-threatening broken bones – known as fragility fractures.
- Osteoporosis is a growing global problem: worldwide, fractures affect one in three women and one in five men over the age of 50.
- Osteoporosis affects families – family members often bear the burden of care.
- If one of your parents had osteoporosis or hip fracture, this may increase your own risk of developing the disease. Take the Bone Health Fracture Risk Calculator to identify your risk factors.
- At risk? Be sure to request a bone health assessment – take prompt action for prevention!
- Bone health concerns the entire family – ensure your family maintains a bone healthy lifestyle.
- Advocate! Call on healthcare providers to close the massive ‘care gap’ which leaves many patients unprotected against a cycle of disabling fractures.
Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and brittle — so brittle that a fall or even mild stresses such as bending over, or coughing can cause a fracture. Osteoporosis-related fractures most commonly occur in the hip, wrist, or spine.
Bone is a living tissue that is constantly being broken down and replaced. Osteoporosis occurs when the creation of new bone doesn’t keep up with the loss of old bone.
Osteoporosis affects people of all races. But white and Asian women, especially older women who are past menopause, are at highest risk. Medications, healthy diet, and weight-bearing exercise can help prevent bone loss or strengthen already weak bones.
There typically are no symptoms in the initial stages of bone loss. But once your bones have been weakened by osteoporosis, you might have signs and symptoms that include:
- Back pain, caused by a fractured or collapsed vertebra
- Loss of height over time
- A stooped posture
- A bone that breaks much more easily than expected
Your bones are in a constant state of renewal — new bone is made and old bone is broken down. When you are young, your body makes a new bone faster than it breaks down an old bone and your bone mass increases. After the early 20s this process slows, and most people reach their peak bone mass by age 30. As people age, bone mass is lost faster than it is created.
How likely you are to develop osteoporosis depends partly on how much bone mass you attained in your youth. Peak bone mass is partly inherited and varies also by ethnic group. The higher your peak bone mass, the more bone you have “in the bank” and the less likely you are to develop osteoporosis as you age.
Several factors can increase the likelihood that you will develop osteoporosis — including: your age, race, lifestyle choices, and medical conditions and treatments.
Some risk factors for osteoporosis are out of your control, including:
- Your sex. Women are much more likely to develop osteoporosis than are men.
- Age. The older you get, the greater your risk of osteoporosis.
- Race. You are at greatest risk of osteoporosis if you are white or of Asian descent.
- Family history. Having a parent or sibling with osteoporosis puts you at greater risk, especially if your mother or father fractured a hip.
- Body frame size. People who have small body frames tend to have a higher risk because they might have less bone mass to draw from as they age.
Osteoporosis is more common in people who have too much or too little of certain hormones in their bodies. Examples include:
- Sex hormones. Lowered sex hormone levels tend to weaken bone. The fall in estrogen levels in women at menopause is one of the strongest risk factors for developing osteoporosis. Treatments for prostate cancer that reduce testosterone levels in men and treatments for breast cancer that reduce estrogen levels in women are likely to accelerate bone loss.
- Thyroid problems. Too much thyroid hormone can cause bone loss. This can occur if your thyroid is overactive or if you take too much thyroid hormone medication to treat an underactive thyroid.
- Other glands. Osteoporosis has also been associated with overactive parathyroid and adrenal glands.
Some unpleasant habits can increase your risk of osteoporosis. Examples include People who spend a lot of time sitting have a higher risk of osteoporosis than do those who are more active. Any weight-bearing exercise and activities that promote balance and good posture are beneficial for your bones, but walking, running, jumping, dancing, and weightlifting seem particularly helpful.
- Excessive alcohol consumption. Regular consumption of more than two alcoholic drinks a day increases the risk of osteoporosis.
- Tobacco use. The exact role tobacco plays in osteoporosis is not clear, but it has been shown that tobacco use contributes to weak bones.
Good nutrition and regular exercise are essential for keeping your bones healthy throughout your life.
Calcium-Vitamin Dand Exercise can help you build strong bones and slow bone loss.
When to see a doctor
You might want to talk to your doctor about osteoporosis if you went through early menopause or took corticosteroids for several months at a time, or if either of your parents had hip fractures.