World Osteoporosis Day takes place this year on October 20th, 2020. It marks a year-long campaign dedicated to raising global awareness of the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis. WOD aims to make osteoporosis and fracture prevention a global health priority by reaching out to health-care professionals, the media, policy makers, patients, and the public at large. The campaign will feature “THAT’S OSTEOPOROSIS” as a headline, highlighting emotionally impactful visuals and stories of real people living with osteoporosis in all regions of the world.
The campaign will emphasize the direct link between osteoporosis (the silent, underlying disease) and broken bones, which have a serious, life-changing impact in terms of pain, disabilityand lost independence. It will also focus on osteoporosis as a ‘family affair’, with family caregivers often carrying the burden of care, and the disease affecting multiple generations of the family.
What is Osteoporosis?
- Osteoporosis is the underlying cause of painful, debilitating and life-threatening broken bones – known as fragility fractures.
- Osteoporosis is a growing global problem: worldwide, fractures affect one in three women and one in five men over the age of 50.
- Osteoporosis affects families – family members often bear the burden of care
- If one of your parents had osteoporosis or hip fracture, this may increase your own risk of developing the disease. Take the IOF Osteoporosis Risk Check to identify your risk factors.
- At risk? Be sure to request a bone health assessment – take early action for prevention!
- Bone health concerns the entire family – ensure your family maintains a bone healthy lifestyle.
- Advocate! Sign the IOF Global Patient Charterand join OAD in calling on healthcare providers to close the massive ‘care gap’ which leaves many patients unprotected against a cycle of disabling fractures.
As most of my readers will know I have recently been diagnosed with Osteopenia which the NHS explains is the stage before osteoporosis. 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. I have been put on medication twice a day and told to do some core workouts.
I do wonder however that had my pain team not sent me for a bone scan whether in a few years time, mine could have turned into Osteoporosis so I have been very lucky that it has been spotted.
If you head to the World Osteoporosis Day website you can read the inspiring, real-life stories of people from around the world who have been affected by osteoporosis and fragility fractures. And do not forget there is also a link on the site for you to see if you are at risk from Osteoporosis.
Help raise awareness of Osteoporosis in any way you can, post onto your media sites so it can be spread around the world on the 20th October.