Today is World Osteoporosis Day and is celebrated on every October 20th to raise the global awareness of Osteoporosis and metabolic bone disease. This disease causes bones to become fragile, weak and porous that can easily lead to fractures. Women are more prone to osteoporosis than men.
IOF (International Osteoporosis Foundation) recommends five essential strategies to help maintain bone and muscle strength in later life:
- Exercise 30–40 minutes, three to four times per week and ensure a mix of resistance training and weight-bearing exercise. As you age resistance training (e.g. using elastic bands, weight machines) becomes increasingly important.
- Ensure a bone-healthy diet that includes enough dietary calcium and protein, with enough fruits and vegetables to balance the increased need for protein. Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D too – through sunlight, diet, and supplementation if required.
- Avoid negative habits such as smoking and excessive alcohol intake and maintain a healthy body weight. Women who are underweight are at higher risk compared to those with a normal body mass index.
- Find out whether you may have personal factors that increase your risk of osteoporosis. Common risk factors include early menopause before the age of 45, use of glucocorticoids, rheumatoid arthritis, malabsorption disorders (e.g. celiac or Crohn’s disease), previous fragility fracture, or a family history of osteoporosis and fractures. Complete the One-Minute Osteoporosis Risk Test.
- Menopause is the critical time to get your doctor to assess your bone health status. Ask for a fracture risk assessment (e.g. FRAX) and, if indicated, take a bone mineral density test. If treatment is prescribed ensure that you adhere to your therapy.