Your bones are like your bank accounts: the more you put into them when you’re still young, the more “bone capital” you have to draw on when you get older and you need harder bones.
And the reason you need to make your bones as hard as you can while you’re still young – this is done through eating well and doing weight-bearing exercise such as jumping and skipping and running, activities that come naturally to kids who are allowed to just play. Something that is becoming rarer and rarer, alas, in this new overly-scheduled, wired and connected era – is that bones start to get steadily weaker (we often refer to this as softening) from the age of about 25 on.
And if the bones weaken enough, you end up with osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis should never be ignored because bone fractures – no matter where they occur – can leave you with a pile of huge problems including lifelong pain (such as in fractures of the spine, for example), loss of function of parts of limbs (in wrist fractures, for example), loss of independence (such as through fractures of the hip) and even premature death.
In fact, one study found that any fracture in a person over the age of 50 doubles the risk of premature death, although no one is sure about why there is that link.
One other very important thing of note about osteoporosis: it is often referred to as a women’s disease but in fact, men get it, too, although not quite as frequently.
The bottom line is that you need to do something – actually a few things – about osteoporosis if you don’t want to suffer some if its potentially debilitating effects.
This starts with prevention, of course: weight-bearing exercise throughout life, healthy diet, not smoking, knowing which medications can raise your risk, and so on.
And if you already have osteoporosis, it’s very important to inform yourself about a few issues: the extent of the condition, what you can do on your own to slow down its progress, what you must do to prevent falling, which is of course, the major reason that bones break, and most important, the pros and cons of the medications you might be asked to consider taking.
Take a proactive approach to protecting your long-term bone health by attending a London Drugs Osteoporosis Screening Clinic*. During the 45-minute, one-on-one consultation, your Patient Care Pharmacist will provide you with a one-on-one screening to measure your bone strength with an ultrasound bone measuring device and assess your risk for falls and fractures. You will be provided with an assessment, tips on how to minimize your risks and a personalized action plan to fit your wellness goals.
Book your appointment online at London Drugs’ NEW pharmacy website.
*A small fee applies for this service, for which a tax deductible receipt will be issued.