Tuesday, July 24, 2012

What is osteoporosis? What puts me at risk for osteoporosis?

What is osteoporosis? 

Hip Fracture
Osteoporosis is a common condition among older people, particularly postmenopausal women. Osteoporosis affects the strength of your bones and can make them fragile and more likely to break. In Canada, osteoporosis affects approximately 1 in 4 women and 1 in 8 men over the age of 50.

Learning about osteoporosis can help you better understand your risk for osteoporosis. It can be overwhelming, even a little scary, when you're first diagnosed with osteoporosis. However, a few simple steps can go a long way to help you live a full life.

The 2010 Canadian Osteoporosis Guidelines recommend that all postmenopausal women and men over 50 be assessed for osteoporosis and clinical risk factors for fragility fractures. Post-menopausal women are especially at risk of osteoporosis because at menopause estrogen levels drop. Estrogen plays an important role in keeping women’s bones healthy. There are several factors that can increase your risk of developing osteoporosis.

Take this self-assessment to help understand if you are at risk: Osteoporosis Risk Factors Test.

What puts me at risk for osteoporosis? 
Risk factors are additive, meaning that the more risk factors you have, the greater your risk of developing osteoporosis. If you are over 50, Osteoporosis Canada recommends that you talk to your physician about being assessed for osteoporosis. You can print your results and take them to your next doctor’s appointment.

If you are diagnosed with osteoporosis, your doctor may prescribe medication to help slow bone loss, increase bone density and therefore help reduce the risk of fractures. No two people are alike, so your doctor will help you evaluate which treatment is right for you based on your needs, other health conditions you may have, and medications you may already be taking. Your doctor may also recommend that you take calcium and/or vitamin D to supplement your medication

Facts found from Fight Osteoporosis.ca

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