One bone broken every minute, could it be you?
Do you know how to deal with a potential osteoporosis risk?
I was recently sent some helpful information by Stephen Makinde, Director of Perfect Balance Clinic. He is an Osteopath with some interesting thoughts to share on dealing with osteoporosis and that is certainly necessary as more than 3 million people in the UK are estimated to have osteoporosis, a condition that causes around 500,000 broken bones every year – that’s one every minute.
After the age of about 35 years, the body starts to remove more bone than it replaces. As a result, the total amount of bone tissue starts to decrease. This is often described as ‘bone loss’ or ‘bone thinning’.
Osteoporosis is a growing concern amongst both the ageing population generally, and women in particular. The increased bone loss at menopause can be related to the rapidly decreasing levels of progesterone – the hormone responsible for bone building – and increased levels of oestrogen – the hormone responsible for clearing away old bone.
Long-term synthetic hormone use and inadequate hormone levels at menopause both can contribute to increasing osteoporosis risk, the consequences of which can become very serious.
In women over 45 years of age, osteoporosis accounts for more days spent in hospital than many other diseases, including diabetes, heart disease and breast cancer. Often known as ‘the silent killer’ for its lack of symptoms osteoporosis needs to be taken seriously as once established and untreated it can lead to disability, loss of independence, and in some cases, premature death.
Once established the results are not just physical, but also mental and emotional due to the restrictions that osteoporosis can place on your previous lifestyle.
How to deal with osteoporosis
Your doctor may refer to osteoporosis or osteopenia, the condition before osteoporosis, or simply bone thinning or bone loss. Strategies might be simple or complex, but the key factor is the sustainability and well planned effectiveness of each strategy. In other words, how well will it work for you in your daily life?
Perfect Balance Clinic provides a range of services across their 8 locations in London, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire and their philosophy rests on simple principles and puts the individual at the at the centre of a 360 degree results focused treatment.
Based on their experience, here are their suggestions to improve your bone health:
1. Keeping active is crucial so start by incorporating a fitness regime to benefit your health and mental wellbeing.
Exercise can reduce bone loss and possibly reduce the risk of broken bones, improve balance, improve your sense of wellbeing and make you better able to carry out daily tasks and activities.
2. It is important to seek advice so a condition can be diagnosed accurately. Treatment needs to identify the cause of the problem and then treatment could include and demonstrate how exercise, medication and diet play a vital role in preventing such conditions from worsening.
3. The nutritional aspects also need to be addressed to incorporate changes in diet to combat inflammatory joint diseases and introduce greater fermented fibre to reduce the acceleration of bone loss.
Food is crucial to provide a balance to your hormones; a well planned nutritional and supplement programme can provide positive results against breast tenderness, tiredness, moodiness, headaches, bloating, fluid retention and emotional symptoms.
4. Addressing lifestyle factors is crucial in making people understand earlier why they may be suffering from bone disease. And this is imperative toward preventing long term disability.
5. Being aware of both the risks and treatment available for osteoporosis from all aspects such as medical options, therapeutic assistance and how to best help yourself is the best way forward. Lack of such awareness is a major problem when dealing with osteoporosis, due to the lack of symptoms mentioned earlier, and an increasing trend to poor posture as our daily habits have altered.
We now spend less time in activity and more at a desk or over a computer or iPad so the Clinic’s Physiotherapist, Fatimah Parkar, has produced a free downloadable Posture Book at http://www.perfectbalanceclinic.com/advice/e-books/posture-e-book/
Maintaining the correct hormone balance at menopause so you have the right levels of oestrogen to clear away old bone, and progesterone to build the new bone is critical.
Weight gain is also an element at menopause so if you are seeing an increase there then you are likely to be producing oestrogen still from the fat cells but the levels of progesterone do drop dramatically and with osteoporosis need supplementing. Adding in a specific osteoporosis supplement with the correct balance of vitamins and bone building elements will also support bone health.