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The Silent Disease… and You

Did you know that 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men over the age of 50 will break a bone as a result of Osteoporosis?

“What is Osteoporosis and is it really likely to affect me?”  These are two questions that we hear regularly so let’s answer them for you right here.

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is often called the ‘silent disease’ because there aren’t any symptoms and people may not know they have it until their bones become so weak that a sudden strain, bump or fall causes a fracture or collapses a vertebra.

Osteoporosis is a condition caused by low bone mass and the deterioration of bone tissue which weakens your bones and increases your susceptibility to fractures.  Whilst fractures can occur anywhere in the body the wrists, hips and spine are the most commonly affected areas.  

Will Osteoporosis Affect Me?

Make no mistake about it, Osteoporosis is a major public health threat. Anyone can develop it because we naturally lose bone mass as we get older, however, certain people are more vulnerable.  You are more likely to develop Osteoporosis if you are:

  • A woman
  • Thin or small framed
  • Aged over 50
  • Part of a family with a history of Osteoporosis
  • Going through the menopause early
  • Consuming a diet that’s low in Calcium
  • Using certain medication including corticosteroids and anticonvulsants
  • Leading an inactive lifestyle
  • A smoker
  • Drinking excessive alcohol
  • Caucasian or Asian

If you found yourself mentioned in that list your next question may well be “can Osteoporosis be prevented?”  Although the potential height and strength of your skeleton is determined by your genes, your lifestyle can significantly influence the amount of bone mass built up during your bone-forming years and your ability to maintain it later in life.

Building strong bones during childhood and adolescence can be the best defence against developing Osteoporosis later in life. However, if you are in your mid-thirties or older it’s absolutely vital to maintain the strength of your bones.  These four steps (which we’ll explore in more detail in our next featured article) can help you keep your bones as healthy as possible thereby reducing the risk of Osteoporosis:

  1. Perform regular weight-bearing exercises
  2. Lead a healthy lifestyle with no smoking or excessive alcohol intake
  3. Test your bone-density when appropriate and, if necessary, take medication
  4. Maintain a balanced diet rich in Calcium and Vitamin D…

…. and that’s where we come in.  If you’re struggling to maintain a balanced diet rich in Calcium and Vitamin D then you may want to consider taking a Calcium supplement.  ellactiva® make a tasty Caramel Calcium Chew with each chew containing 500mg of Calcium but which lack the chalky aftertaste so often associated with Calcium supplements.  To learn more about ellactiva® and ellactiva® Caramel Calcium Chews please visit our website here

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