What is Osteoporosis, and what can we do to help optimise bone health?
Did you know that across the world, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men aged 50 years and over will have an osteoporotic fracture, and only 20% of the patients with these fractures are diagnosed or treated for osteoporosis?
Bone is a dynamic tissue that undergoes constant remodelling through a process called bone turnover. This process involves two main cellular components: osteoblasts, which are responsible for bone formation, and osteoclasts, which are involved in bone resorption. The bone remodelling process allows for the removal of old or damaged bone and the subsequent formation of new bone, maintaining the structural integrity and strength of the skeleton. Osteopenia occurs due to an imbalance in the normal bone remodelling process, resulting in a decrease in bone mineral density (BMD). This makes individuals more susceptible to fractures and increases the risk of developing osteoporosis.
Besides from age, there are several risk factors that contributes to bone loss. The following are some significant factors identified:
· Gender: postmenopausal women are at a higher risk due to hormonal changes and decreased oestrogen levels.
· Family history: individuals with a family history of osteoporosis or fractures have an increased risk of osteopenia.
· Lifestyle factors: sedentary lifestyle, inadequate calcium and vitamin D intake, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and low body weight are associated with an elevated risk.
· Medical conditions: certain medical conditions, such as hyperthyroidism, inflammatory bowel disease, and hormonal disorders, can contribute to the development of osteopenia.
Here are 4 tips that has proven help to optimise bone health:
1. Exercise regularly, including resistance training, balance and impact exercises.
2. Follow a bone-healthy diet including adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D, together with safe exposure to sunshine.
3. Avoid excessive alcohol consumption and smoking.
4. Maintain a healthy body weight.
Engaging in regular exercise and implementing a comprehensive exercise program early on can help slow down or prevent the progression of osteopenia and osteoporosis. It is essential to take proactive measures to maintain bone health and reduce the risk of fractures and overall increase Quality of Life. It is recommended to consult with a qualified exercise specialist to develop an exercise program suitable for individual needs and capabilities.
If you or someone you know needs help with an exercise program improving bone health, our team at SCREP are happy to assist!