Osteoporosis is a condition that occurs when bones lose minerals such as calcium faster than it can replace it. Bones become weak and brittle, causing them to break more easily, resulting in a fracture from minor trauma. Because it has no symptoms until a fracture occurs, osteoporosis is often called the silent disease. About 4.7 million Australians have poor bone health and of this number, over a million have osteoporosis. This silent disease can result in chronic pain, disability and loss of independence. Looking after your bone health is thus super important!


Any bone can be affected by osteoporosis but the most common affected areas are hips, spine and wrists. Osteoporosis in the spine can cause loss of height and changes in posture (a dowager’s hump). There are certain risk factors for osteoporosis that we can’t change such as being female (ladies can lose up to 10% of bone mass within the first 5 years of menopause), family history (if one or more of your family members are affected) and age (bone mass peak at around age 30). 


Other factors include certain medications such as long term steroids (used to treat some chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, chronic asthma), medications used for breast or prostate cancer and some medical conditions such as hyperactive thyroid, rheumatoid arthritis (again), liver or kidney disease and malabsorption disease such coealiac or Crohn’s. Low female hormones levels (due to early menopause) and low testosterone levels in men, low calcium and/or Vitamin D levels can also predispose to osteoporosis. Lifestyle factors such as low physical activity, smoking, too much alcohol and being too skinny or overweight can also affect your bone health.   

 

Anyone aged 50 and over who has ever had a fracture from a simple fall or bump would benefit from being checked for osteoporosis as the risk of future fractures increases with each fracture (the cascade effect). As an example, a woman who has had a spinal fracture is 4 times more likely to have another fracture within the next 12 months! The best diagnostic test is the painless DEXA scan which measures bone density. Once diagnosed, there are a number of things that can be done to help manage osteoporosis effectively and measures to take to minimize future falls (check out the blog article on our website or our Facebook video)


For those who have one or more risk factors and are unsure about your bone health, chat to a health professional. There are lifestyle changes that can be made to improve and maintain bone health such as having a healthy diet with calcium-rich food, having a good level of physical activity, preferably with an appropriate level of sun exposure, stopping smoking and/or reducing alcohol intake etc. We will explore these in more detail in an upcoming article or you could simply pop in store and speak to one of our friendly pharmacists.

Nothing funny about Bad Bones.

Port Kennedy Central Shopping Centre

Shop 8B/397 Warnbro Sound Avenue, 

Port Kennedy WA 6172

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Port Kennedy Pharmacy

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Port Kennedy Central Shopping Centre,

Shop 8B/397 Warnbro Sound Avenue, Port Kennedy WA 6172

Where to locate us

Port Kennedy Central Shopping Centre

Shop 8B/397 Warnbro Sound Avenue, 

Port Kennedy WA 6172

Port Kennedy Pharmacy