50% of women and 20% of men will break a bone as a result of osteoporosis.
Bone forms our structure with the outer edges being dense. The inner area has spaces, looking like a honeycomb, rather like a Crunchie bar. The spaces make the bones lighter so we can move easily.
Bones are constantly being absorbed and relaid to keep them healthy. This process isn’t as balanced as we age (over 35) and we get bone thinning which is osteoporosis – the spaces become bigger and the bone more fragile.
What makes me ‘at risk’?
Certain factors mean we are more likely to become osteoporotic:
- being female – menopause and changes in hormones affect bone density
- age – it’s a natural process
- genetics – blame your parents!
These factors we have some control over
- have a good bone store before 35 – exercise and eat well
- stop smoking – it directly affects the bone and smokers tend to have a poorer diet
- excessive alcohol – affects the bone system and there’s a higher risk of falling
- EXERCISE – keeping bones and muscles strong improves balance (reduces chance of falling). Loading the bones with push/pull/stomp encourages bone density.
For further really helpful information look at The National Osteoporosis website.