Over three and a half million people in the UK are living with osteoporosis
It’s never too early to start looking after your bones

Osteoporosis - Bone

Osteoporosis is a condition where your bones lose strength, making you more likely to fracture (break) a bone – even after just a minor bump or fall.

Having osteoporosis doesn’t mean you will definitely break a bone. But it does mean you’re at higher risk than the average person. We’re here to help you understand how to lower your risk of broken bones – also known as ‘fragility fractures’ – and to live well with osteoporosis. 

The most common injuries in people with osteoporosis are:

Osteoporosis symptoms

Having osteoporosis means you’re more likely to break a bone than the average adult.

As bones lose strength, they can break after a minor bump or fall. These are known as fragility fractures. A broken bone and a fracture are the same thing.

When we speak about the symptoms of osteoporosis, we are referring to the broken bones it causes, and the impact these broken bones may have on your body.

What affects your risk of osteoporosis?

There’s no single cause of osteoporosis. Your risk of developing it is linked to factors that can lead to weak bones, which include:

  • Family history – you’re more likely to have osteoporosis if you have a family history of osteoporosis or if one of your parents has broken a hip.
  • Age – you’re more likely to have osteoporosis if you’re aged 50 or over.
  • Gender – osteoporosis is more common in women because they have. smaller bones on average, and lose oestrogen during menopause
  • Body weight – having a low body weight can increase your chances of having osteoporosis.
  • Certain medical conditions – such as rheumatoid arthritis, hyperthyroidism and Crohn’s disease.
  • Certain medications – such as steroids and some treatments for Crohn’s disease.
  • Lifestyle factors – low physical activity, smoking, excessive alcohol, lack of calcium and vitamin D.

The Royal Osteoporosis Society provides more information on the risk factors for osteoporosis and broken bones – please visit https://theros.org.uk/information-and-support/osteoporosis/causes/

Bone loss before osteoporosis (osteopenia)

The stage before osteoporosis is called osteopenia. This is when a bone density scan shows you have lower bone density than the average for your age, but not low enough to be classed as osteoporosis.

Osteopenia does not always lead to osteoporosis. It depends on many factors.

If you have osteopenia, there are steps you can take to keep your bones healthy and reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis.

Your doctor may also prescribe one of the bone-strengthening treatments that are given to people with osteoporosis, depending on how weak your bones are and your risk of breaking a bone.

(Source is NHS)

Risk Checker

You can identify your own risk of developing osteoporosis by using the Royal Osteoporosis Society’s risk checker online test.

Try the osteoporosis risk checker from the Royal Osteoporosis Society

Preventing osteoporosis

If you’re at risk of developing osteoporosis, you should take steps to help keep your bones healthy. This may include:

Read more about preventing osteoporosis.

Living with osteoporosis

It’s natural to be concerned about how osteoporosis will affect your daily life. But having osteoporosis doesn’t always mean giving up activities and interests that are important to you. In general, life should be able to go on as normal – perhaps with just a few adjustments.

Not everyone with osteoporosis will break a bone. Be reassured that if you don’t break a bone, you won’t have any pain or other long-term problems.

For further information about living with osteoporosis please visit – https://theros.org.uk/information-and-support/osteoporosis/living-with-osteoporosis/

For further information visit – 

Royal Osteoporosis Society – https://theros.org.uk/

NHS – https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/osteoporosis/