Women are far more prone to suffer from osteoporosis and suffer permanent bone damage after an injury. To put this in perspective, here’s a reminder for all women to take care of their bone health.
Osteoporosis is a widespread bone disorder. It is characterised by the weakening and progressive thinning of bones as we grow older. Osteoporosis can lead to a fractured bone after a minor accident or from minimal trauma.
This ‘silent disease’ typically does not cause any signs or symptoms, which is why it is also possible to be completely unaware of your condition until you break a bone.
When does osteoporosis begin?
Usually starting later in life, the risk for developing osteoporosis can begin as early as the early 30s.
And despite sounding static, your bones are actually constantly changing.
Yes, it might be surprising, but bones are constantly being broken and renewed.
This auto-renewal keeps happening until about the 30s, and then there is only a slight increase in bone mass after that.
Particularly in women, osteoporosis can also begin a year or two before they hit menopause.
This is because when women reach menopause, the hormone, estrogen that protects bones decreases rapidly, leading to loss of bone mass.
As said before, you probably wouldn’t know when osteoporosis hits you until there is a fracture, but there might be some signs.
- First, experiencing a loss of height as you grow older, most often caused by compression of the sign, is a significant telltale of osteoporosis.
- Back pain caused by a fractured vertebra and a body posture where the head and the shoulders are bent forward are other signs of osteoporosis.
But again, you’ll need to undergo medical tests to confirm one.
Osteoporosis in Australians
Over 1.2 million Australians have osteoporosis, and those aged 50 and above have a 66% prevalence of this disease.
And that’s not it. It is expected to become 3 to 4 minutes by this year.
Amongst women, 1 in 2 women over 60 will have a fracture caused by osteoporosis.
The good news is; you can prevent and manage osteoporosis.
How to build and maintain stronger bones
It is essential you start taking care of your bones early, but remember it’s never too late.
Considering bones are almost all made of calcium, nothing comes closer to calcium’s influence on bone health. You need to eat a calcium-rich diet, including green leafy vegetables, cheese, dairy products, fatty fish and nuts and for bone health.
2) Physical exercise to improve strength and balance
Weight-bearing and resistance exercises are “gold-standard” for improving the strength and balance of bones. Apart from that, swimming, running, and HIIT workouts are the perfect recipe for stronger bones.
3) Making the right lifestyle choices
Leading a sedentary lifestyle is no good for health, let alone for bone health. An active life is a great way to maintain bone health and prevent the risk of osteoporosis even when you grow old. Also, your bones will thank you if you quit smoking and limit your alcohol consumption.
When to see a doctor?
The best recommendation would be to see a doctor regularly. But, in case you went through early menopause, or have parents with hip fractures due to osteoporosis, then make sure you see a doctor soon.
For any concerns related to bone health including osteoporosis, speak to our doctors today.