Osteoporosis What is it and how do I manage it?

Osteoporosis is a condition that results in loss of bone mass and weakening of a bone, which increases the risk of fractures.   Osteoporosis related fractures are often called fragility fractures because they can occur with little or no trauma.

More than 1.4 million Canadians have osteoporosis and although the onset can begin at any age it is much more common in the elderly.  Statistics show 1 in 4 Canadian women over the age of 50 and 1 in 8 men have osteoporosis.  Bone mass peaks in our early 20’s and begins to be lost starting in our mid 30’s.  Factors which increase the risk of developing osteoporosis include.

  • Family history
  • Small body frame
  • Smoking
  • Eating disorders (anorexia)
  • Low calcium intake
  • Excessive alcohol intake

Prevention of Osteoporosis

Dietary intake of 1500mg/day of calcium and 800 IU of vitamin D

30 minutes of exercise (or more) at least 3x/week.

Managing Osteoporosis

Appropriate exercise can help improve bone mass and/or slow down the rate of loss of bone mass.  The most effective type of exercises for managing osteoporosis are performed in weight bearing and includes both strength and aerobic exercises.  It is also recommended that good balance be maintained to reduce the risk of falls.

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