What Can I Do To Improve My Bone Health?
October 1, 2022
Learning that you have fragile bones can be concerning, and for many, leave them with a lot of questions:
- Why have I got fragile bones?
- What does having fragile bones mean?
- What are my risks?
- What can I be doing to improve my bone health?
What Does It Mean To Have Fragile Bones Or Poor Bone Health?If you have fragile bones, it means that the mineral density in your bones has decreased. Clinically this can either be classed as:
- Osteoporosis: a condition that means “bones with holes”, diagnosed when your bone mineral density is significantly reduced. This makes them significantly weaker and more vulnerable to fractures.
- Osteopenia: nicknamed as ‘pre-osteoporosis’, osteopenia means that your bone mineral density has decreased below normal values, but is not yet low enough for you to be formally diagnosed with osteoporosis. Osteopenia is a big warning sign that osteoporosis is not far off if your current daily activities and attention to bone health do not improve.
Am I At Risk For Poor Bone Health?Looking at osteoporosis specifically, risk factors can be classed as either modifiable, meaning you can change them, or non-modifiable, meaning that you’re stuck with these risk factors.
Modifiable risk factors for poor bone health
- Physical inactivity
- Calcium deficiency from your diet
- Long-term glucocorticoid (steroid) use
- Being underweight with a low BMI
- Inadequate vitamin D intake
- High alcohol intake
- Poor nutrition
Non-modifiable risk factors for osteoporosis
- Your gender (particularly being female)
- Entering menopause or having a hysterectomy
- Genetic characteristics
- Taking certain medications that are essential in treating other medical conditions including thyroid hormone supplements, certain diabetes medications, anti-coagulants, certain chemotherapy agents, proton pump inhibitors, certain immunosuppressants and more
- The presence of other diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, kidney disease and more