Reducing the Risk of Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is defined by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare as ‘a condition where bones become thin, weak and fragile, such that even a minor bump or accident can cause a broken bone’ (1).

Osteoporosis is more common than Breast and Cervical Cancer combined (2). It is diagnosed most commonly following menopause in women, when the protective effect of oestrogen is lost. (3) Is is often referred to as the silent disease, because there are often no signs until after the first break (2).

Risk factors for osteoporosis include:

– Breaking a bone after the age of 50- Smoking – Low body mass index (<19kg / m sq)- Early menopause (before age 45)

– Diabetes

– Crohn’s disease

– Rheumatoid arthritis

– Cancer treatment

– Glucocorticoid treatment (3)

Osteoporosis prevention strategies include:

– Having a bone-healthy diet and plenty of exercise in childhood, to assist the development of ‘peak bone mass.’

– Consuming the recommended calcium and protein for your age, gender and weight.

– Getting the recommended Vitamin D intake, through oily fish, eggs, fortified calcium products and short periods of sun exposure.

– Completing regular weight bearing and muscle strengthening exercise. Avoiding heavy drinking and smoking.

– Getting an early diagnosis and treatment if needed (3).

Regular resistance training stresses long bones to strengthen them.

You can discover if you are at risk of osteoporosis by taking the short test at:

Sources: (1) Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). The Big O (3) International Osteoporosis Foundation

At Destiny Health, we write programs to support your health and fitness goals, through Physio, Personal Training and Nutrition. We also communicate with your doctor as needed.