It was World Osteoporosis Day on 20th October, so not surprisingly, when I looked ahead for subjects to pitch for this month’s health column, osteoporosis was top of my list.
My health column discussed what osteoporosis is – a weakening of the bones and a loss of bone density – and also what causes it and what you can do to prevent and treat it. It’s appeared in various print magazines and on some websites too.
So, how likely is it to affect you?
Quite likely – particularly if you’re a woman. Worldwide, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men aged 50 and over will suffer an osteoporotic fracture. Us poor women are at greater risk after menopause because of our falling oestrogen levels. Hyperthyroidism, a BMI of 19 or less, smoking and heavy drinking are some of the other top risk factors.
Osteoporosis can affect any bone, but the wrists, hips and spine are the most commonly affected. You can help to prevent it by taking regular weight-bearing and resistance exercise and ensuring you have plenty of calcium, protein and Vitamin D in your diet, The exercise will not only help you maintain your bone health but also help you maintain your flexibility and balance – meaning you’re less likely to fall!
Go and eat a yoghurt immediately – and jog to that fridge, lifting weights as you go!