Stages of Osteoporosis





Left: Normal Bone, Right: Osteoporotic Bone

What is Osteoporosis?

  • Osteoporosis is a disease where your bones become soft and weak making them susceptible to fractures
  • Simple activities such as coughing, sneezing, hugging, picking up the newspaper or lifting groceries can cause the bones to break
  • Affects the entire body – bones of the back, hip, wrist and ribcage are more likely to fracture
  • It occurs in both men and women of all ages and different ethnicity
  • It develops slowly and can go undetected for years while the bones are being robbed of calcium

What are the consequences of Osteoporosis?

  • Broken Bones
  • Back Pain
  • Loss of height
  • Stooped rounded shoulders
  • Humped Back
  • Loss of Independence & mobility
  • Low self esteem
  • Fear of falling
  • Depression, nervousness, fear
  • Death

Osteoporosis Facts

  • More women die from osteoporosis related fractures than from cancers of the breast, ovaries & uterus combined
  • Men over 50 are at a greater risk of an osteoporosis related fracture than from developing prostate cancer
  • Approximately, 20% of women and 34% of men will die within one year from a hip fracture and 75% will have some form of permanent disability
  • In the first 5 to 7 years after menopause, women can lose from 5% to 30% of their bone mass
  • About 40% of women past menopause will fracture a bone
  • 1 out of 2 women and 1 out of 5 men will sustain fractures due to osteoporosis
  • Canadians spend an incredible $1.3 billion a year for the treatment of those stricken with the disease
  • Research estimates that as many as 40% of 50 year old women will suffer an osteoporotic fracture some time during their lives
  • One in six women over the age of 70 will break a hip and one quarter will break a vertebra
  • 1.6 million hip fractures occur each year!  That is equivalent to one every 20 seconds!
  • By 2020, the world’s population of seniors will double
  • By 2040, the number of osteoporotic fractures will triple

How can you prevent Osteoporosis?

  • See your doctor and get your risk factors assessed
  • Get a bone density test to assess your bone health
  • Aim for 1500mg of calcium/day & 1000 IU of vitamin D/day through diet &/or supplements
  • 3 to 4 servings of dairy products/day gives you enough calcium for the day e.g. one glass of milk has 300 mg of calcium and 200 IU of vitamin D, ¾ cup of plain yogurt has 300 mg of calcium, 1 ¼ cube of cheese has 250 mg of calcium
  • There are also other calcium-rich foods e.g. orange juice with calcium; salmon/sardine with bones, almonds, beans & many more
  • Be physically active – moderate exercise helps maintain or improve bone density, improves balance, reduces risk of falling & risk of fractures and dramatically improves quality of life
  • Do weight-bearing activities like walking, dancing, low impact aerobics, hiking, golf, tennis, climbing stairs, bowling, jogging
  • Do strengthening activities like weightlifting with dumbbells, wrist and ankle weights or even household objects like cans of soup
  • Do balance training like tai-chi or yoga
  • Practice proper postural & fall prevention techniques
  • Stop smoking
  • Drink moderately, not excessively
  • Limit yourself to less than 3 cups of caffeinated beverages or have decaffeinated beverages

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