did you know that as many women die from osteoporosis as die from breast cancer!?...

Most women are well aware of the dangers of breast cancer and know that as many as one in nine are affected by the disease and that their risk grows with age. They know that regular self-checking and mammograms are important and that the earlier they spot a lump the better chance of treating it. What many don’t know is that as many women today die as a result of the crumbling bone condition –  osteoporosis, as of breast cancer!

Osteoporosis is a silent killer – it creeps up on both women and men – mainly with age. Often their first signs are a broken bone – most worryingly of all is a fractured hip. Despite the fact that half of women over the age of 50 will suffer a bone fracture, only 4% say they worry about developing osteoporosis, compared to 56% who fear cancer. Studies show that 20% of women who suffer a hip fracture die within the following 12 months.

There are currently about 3 million with osteoporosis in the UK - it affects 1 in 3 women and 1 in 12 men over the age of 50. It is a silent condition - there are no warnings until you suffer a broken bone.

You are never too young to start thinking about your bones and building them up. From your 20s through 30s you are building your bones, but after you hit the menopause you are more at risk. So make sure you are doing healthy exercise and getting your bone-density regularly checked.

Osteoporosis is a major condition, but there is much that can be done to prevent the broken bones from happening. Women with a family history of the disease, smokers, those whose periods have stopped for any reason other than pregnancy and anorexics are all at a greater risk and so need to get checked out. 
Warning signs:

» You break a bone - this could be a warning sign that your bones are weak.

» If someone in your family has (had) osteoporosis you have a 60 to 80 percent chance of getting the condition too.

» You do not get enough calcium (and magnesium which is needed to deposit the calcium in the bones), to prevent osteoporosis.

» If you smoke you double the risk of suffering an osteoporotic fracture. Too much alcohol on a regular basis causes bone loss and fractures as well as increased risk of falling.

» You are thinner than normal: low body weight is an important risk factor for osteoporosis and increased risk of fractures. 

» You have medical problems: if you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid problems, diabetes or liver disease, your chances of having osteoporosis increase.

» If you have taken steroids for prolonged periods your risk factor increases considerably.

» You have persistent back pain: back pain that will not quit could be a sign that you have a spinal fracture.

» You are shorter than you used to be: if you fracture a bone in your spine, it could collapse onto itself causing you to shrink. 

If you are in a risk category have a bone ineral density test regularly and also supplement your diet with the minerals required to maintain and increase bone mass and density. Regular exercise also helps build bone mass.

» More Health Bites... click here