Osteoporosis is a condition of fragile, brittle bones, which significantly increases the risk of a fracture. Currently 2 million Australians have osteoporosis, with one in two women and one in three men over the age of 60 affected.
Osteoporosis occurs when the rate of bone mineral loss exceeds bone reformation. This can lead to a loss of bone thickness (density) and as a result bones become thinner and less dense, making them more likely to fracture.
Risk factors include having a family history of osteoporosis, use of corticosteroids (eg for asthma), having coeliac disease or other digestive disorders which affect the absorption of nutrients, kidney or liver disease, early menopause in women, low testosterone levels in men, being underweight, smoking, excess alcohol intake, low vitamin D levels and poor calcium intake.
Fortunately there are a number of things you can do to reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis, or preventing a further loss of bone density if you already have the condition. Lifestyle factors including diet, exercise, alcohol and smoking all affect bone density. Ensuring your diet contains adequate calcium and vitamin D, and avoiding high intakes of animal protein, salt and carbonated drinks will help to maximise calcium absorption. Regular weight-bearing exercise, sensible sun exposure (for vitamin D), limiting alcohol intake and not smoking are also important.
If you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis or want to reduce your risk, we can help you by developing an eating plan to suit your needs. For more information or to book at appointment, phone 9415 4845 or fill in our Appointment Request form here.