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WORLD OSTEOPOROSIS DAY OCTOBER 20th, 2020…

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.

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ICELAND’S DIET THE BEST FOR OSTEOARTHRITIS…

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis in the US. OA is often referred to as “wear and tear” arthritis or degenerative joint disease. Osteoarthritis patients are mostly affected in the hands, hips and knees, experiencing pain, aching, stiffness, decreased range of motion and swelling.

Osteoarthritis is estimated to affect over 30 million people in the Unites States alone,* this equals almost 1 in every 10 people dealing with the painful effects of arthritis. The sheer number of people demonstrates why we need more research funding devoted to finding an arthritis cure.

As a degenerative joint disease, OA over time, causes inflammation and loss of cartilage in the joints. OA causes inflexibility, pain and stiffness, and is primarily felt in weight-bearing joints such as the knees, hips and spine. It can, however, occur in any joint. Unlike systemic, autoimmune forms of arthritis (Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis), Osteoarthritis does NOT affect organs in the body.

Iceland has very low levels of osteoarthritis, arterial and heart disease, in their country. They say this is due to their lifestyles especially their reliance on fish. Oily fish is the richest source of Omega 3 and you can also find it in walnut oil, flaxseed oil, and fish oils.

Osteoarthritis has been intensively studied within the field of palaeopathology. For decades there was assumed to be a direct link between activity and the development of osteoarthritis, and this was reflected in the work which was carried out, with often very specific interpretations of occupation and activity on the basis of the diagnosis of osteoarthritis. There has been a great deal of work in this field in Iceland, where the genetic link to hip, hand, and to a lesser extent knee osteoarthritis has been demonstrated, with the identification of several osteoarthritis families within the population.

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THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN OSTEOPENIA AND OSTEOPOROSIS…

If, like me you had never heard of osteopenia then I will explain what this condition is. Web MD write that you should think of it as a midpoint between having healthy bones and having osteoporosis.

Osteopenia is when your bones are weaker than normal but not so far gone that they break easily, which is the hallmark of osteoporosis. Your bones are usually at their densest when you’re about 30. Osteopenia, if it happens at all, usually occurs after age 50. The exact age depends how strong your bones are when you’re young. If they’re hardy, you may never get osteopenia. If your bones aren’t naturally dense, you may get it earlier.

Osteopenia — or seeing it turn into osteoporosis for that matter — is not inevitable. Dietexercise, and sometimes medication can help keep your bones dense and strong for decades.

Recently I was asked to go for a bone scan to look for osteoporosis due to ongoing pain in both my hips, or at least that was what I thought the scan was for. The results came back that I have osteopenia and I have now been put on some medication and they are arranging for me to see a Physiotherapist to start some core strength and weight bearing exercises to avoid it turning into osteoporosis.

When I asked the GP if this was causing my hip pain she said there is no pain associated with osteopenia unless you break a bone. My GP then started asking me a few questions about my hip pain and asked me to pop over and see her. She is now 99% sure that I am suffering from bursitis and is referring me to an Orthopedic Consultant. So, from the pain clinic sending me for a bone scan for hip pain which showed osteopenia I now also have another problem with bursitis which I will cover in another post.

Ortho Atlanta explains about osteopenia and osteoporosis that while these diseases do have some similarities, there are also distinct differences between them. Here’s what you need to know about the differences between osteoporosis and osteopenia.

Osteoporosis means “porous bones.” Bones that are porous, or less dense, are more likely to break. A person with osteoporosis may also walk with a stooped back. Osteopenia is considered a midway point to osteoporosis; the bone density is lower than normal but not as severe and treating it may slow the progression bone loss that leads to osteoporosis. Bone mineral density (BMD) measures the level of calcium in the bones. The lower this level is, the more likely a person is to sustain bone fractures. Osteoporosis and osteopenia are both diseases in which the bone density is low. 

Serious injuries can occur as a result of osteoporosis. Because persons diagnosed with osteoporosis have lost a lot of bone mass, their bones, more porous, and brittle, can fracture from something as simple as a sneeze or a minor fall. Fractures caused by osteoporosis most often occur in the spine. Known as vertebral compression fractures, fractures in the spine are almost twice as common as other fractures typically linked to osteoporosis, such as broken hips and wrists. Osteopenia isn’t quite as serious as osteoporosis because the bones aren’t as porous and measures can be taken to help prevent the onset of osteoporosis

Osteoporosis can’t be reversed; however, it can be managed using the same treatments recommended for osteopenia. In addition to diet and exercise, there are medications the doctor may recommend to help prevent further bone loss.