Osteoporosis and You: Protecting your Bones
If you have osteoporosis (or you are at risk) it's probable that you aren't getting the care you need.
A study carried out at Stanford University in the USA showed that more than half of all people remain undiagnosed, and another report showed that most physicians don't even discuss osteoporosis with patients after a fracture.In the States it has been shown that only one in four patients between the ages of 45 and 75 will ever talk to a doctor about osteoporosis.
And yet it is relatively easy and inexpensive to take care of your bones - but it can be devastating if you don't. In the States there are about 2 million fractures every year associated with osteoporosis. If you are a woman over the age of 50 you have a 1 in 2 chance of having an osteoporosis related fracture some time in the rest of your life; for men the figure is 1 in 4.
Here are some things you can do to help protect your bones
1. Ca and D
Make sure that you are getting enough Calcium and vitamin D. Some studies from the States show that less than half of Americans get enough calcium through their diet and that 52% of postmenopausal women had vitamin D insufficiency.
Most adults should be getting between 600 and 1300mg of calcium daily. Dietary sources are of course milk and dairy products (especially Parmesan cheese and yoghourt), but also dark leafy greens such as kale, chinese bok choy and broccoli. Greens also provide vitamin K which you need to utilise calcium. Dried figs and spinach provide smaller amounts. Soy beans also contain calcium so tofu and miso are useful additions. A handful of almonds could give you 250mg ( about a quarter of you daily allowance) as well as protein, vitamin E and zinc. Although many fruit juices are fortified with vitamin C, it is better to avoid these, because of their high sugar content.
Dairy products, egg yolks, oily fish like sardines and salmon, and liver all contain vitamin D but there is an increasing amount of evidence which suggests that almost all of us should be taking vitamin D supplements. The present consensus is for 4000iu per day. This should be vitamin D3, and you will need to take vitamin K2 with it to absorb it properly.
Strength training will maintain and may even improve bone mineral density. You know that exercise is important for preventing and managing osteoporosis (and osteopaenia)..... but what exercises, how many, how often and how much for you? Will you do more harm than good? Can you hurt yourself? What else do you need to know?
Following the successful format of our kneeHabilitation courses, we are now offering a carefully managed group programme of coached exercises, monitoring and relevant information to teach you what to do safely and constructively over a 6 week intensive course. You will also learn -
Our rehabilitation expert, David Rigg - one of the most experienced rehabilitation specialists in the UK - will be putting you through your paces so that you can reduce the risk of osteoporosis and maintain bone health for the rest of your life. When we have been running the kneeHabilitation courses we have found that our small group (5 people) setting is extraordinarily effective for people to learn in. The small groups are fun, people help and motivate each other, and get much more out of them than 1 to 1. The groups are suitable for men and women.
Please phone or email at firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest and we will contact you with details of the courses.
Assess your bone health
You can do a simple test at home using an online tool called FRAX, which was developed by the World Heath Organisation to calculate the risk of having a fracture within the next 10 years.