Osteoporosis is often referred to as the silent disease as it affects the inside of the bone, while on the outside a person can look and feel perfectly fine. It causes bones to become fragile and break more easily. Women are most at risk from osteoporosis, especially those aged over 65. The effects of undiagnosed or untreated osteoporosis can be devastating, therefore the prevention and early detection of this disease is extremely important
With World Osteoporosis Day taking place on 20th October, we got some advice from Dr Máire Finn who is encouraging women over 65 to prioritise their bone health.
“There are several risk factors that contribute to osteoporosis. Once there is an understanding of what these risk factors are, it makes it easier to identify if there is anything that can be changed to help contribute to healthier bones. Unfortunately, there are some factors that cannot be controlled but by focusing on those that are, there is a chance you could greatly reduce your risk of osteoporosis.”
“Diet plays a major part in bone health. Calcium and vitamin D are essential parts of a diet for healthy bones. Eating a balanced diet, containing adequate calories, and incorporating items from all food groups, can help bone strength as well as overall health.”
“Exercise is also extremely important to ensure healthy bones, especially weight bearing exercises which can help with bone loss. If possible, undertake an assessment by a chartered physiotherapist, before undertaking any exercise programme. Go for a light walk, use the stairs rather than the lift or escalator. Dancing and other low-impact exercises are also good options provided you have good balance.”
This World Osteoporosis Day I would urge all women over 65 to speak to their GP about osteoporosis or contact the Irish Osteoporosis Society on 01 637 5050.