World Osteoporosis Day

Tomorrow people around the globe will observe World Osteoporosis Day. This is a day to recognise those who are afflicted with this condition and to raise awareness of the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of it. The day is put together by the International Osteoporosis Foundation with various activities taking place in over 90 different countries. The day itself has been happening since 1996, first started by the National Osteoporosis Society in the UK with the International Osteoporosis Foundation taking over the following year. 

Each year the day takes on a special theme and this years theme is ‘Serve Up Bone Strength’. Themes in past years have included awareness, early detection, bone health, risk factors, quality of life, nutrition and more! 

Osteoporosis is a fairly well-known condition that is suffered by a large amount of people. It is characterised as a decreased bone strength which increases the risk of a broken bone. Osteoporosis is actually the most common reason that elderly people experience a broken bone. Any bone in the body can be affected by this condition, however, the most common bones that will break as a result are the back bone as well as bones in the hip area and the forearm. 

Once a woman begins the process of menopause she will be increasingly likely to develop osteoporosis as the body will be producing far less estrogen. Estrogen plays an important role in the health of our bones, for both the initial growth and the continued optimum health of them. A deficiency early in life can cause problems for bone health and as estrogen levels drop naturally with age, problems can also start to occur. 

As well as age-related reasons, there are also other factors that can cause osteoporosis to develop. Alcoholism is thought to be a leading cause of this condition, as well as hyperthyroidism, anorexia and kidney disease. People who opt to have their ovaries surgically removed are also putting themselves at a heightened risk of developing osteoporosis. Furthermore, certain medications are also believed to increase the chances of a person developing this condition. These medications include steroids, anti-seizure medications and also the drugs involved in chemotherapy. 

If a person eats a well-balanced diet full of a variety of healthy foods, doesn’t smoke and doesn’t drink heavily, then it is thought that the chance of this person developing osteoporosis will be much lower. Partaking in regular exercise will also help to protect the body against this condition as it will strengthen the bones and the muscles that surround them.

References

1) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8865143

2) http://www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/osteoporosis/estrogen-replacement-therapy-osteoporosis

3) https://www.nos.org.uk