Good Health Blog

Osteoporosis – them bones, them bones…

- January 24, 2011

When bones get brittle or thin they break easier. This is called ‘Osteoporosis’
It is recommended that every woman over the age of 65 have a bone density scan. But what if you are younger or male?
Men also lose bone as they age, but their bone mass generally remains adequate until much later in life. There are however certain risk factors such as reduced calcium intake and low levels of vitamin D which can increase age related bone loss. Although osteoporotic fractures are less common in men than in women, when they occur, these fractures are associated with higher disability and death than in women.

The following risk factors can increase your chance of developing osteoporosis.
* Any family history of osteoporosis and fractures
Your medical history :
Certain conditions and medications can increase your risk of osteoporosis.
* Cortico-steroids (commonly used for Asthma)
* Rheumatoid arthritis
* Over-active thyroid or parathyroid glands
* Coeliac disease and other chronic gut conditions
* Chronic liver or kidney disease
The following symptoms may also indicate an increased risk of osteoporosis.
For men:
* Impotence
* Lack of libido
* Other symptoms of low testosterone levels
For women:
* If your period has stopped for 6-12 consecutive months (excluding pregnancy, menopause or hysterectomy)
* If you experience early menopause
Your lifestyle:
* Smoking
* Excessive alcohol consumption
* Diet lacking in calcium
* Lack of sunlight exposure, which may cause vitamin D deficiency
* Sedentary lifestyle over many years