What is Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a bone disease that most commonly occurs in the hips and spine. It leads to loss of bone strength and increases your risk of fractures. Many people don’t even realize that they have osteoporosis until they suffer a fracture
Good Nutrition for Osteoporosis
For those at risk for osteoporosis, nutrition is extremely important for bone health.
There are three micronutrients that you’d want to pay attention to: calcium, magnesium and vitamin D. Calcium is a mineral that is found largely in dairy products such as fluid milk, yogurt and cheese, and you can also find it in a variety of vegetables such as broccoli.
Magnesium is also found in dairy products, and in things like nuts and leafy green vegetables like kale or spinach.
Vitamin D is probably the most important micronutrient of the three when it comes to bone health. Recent recommendations suggest that you take at least 1,000 international units or IUs per day for adequate blood levels to maintain healthy bones.
If you have more questions about how nutrition can help your bone health, talk to your local dietitian or medical professional.
Local Practitioners: Registered Dietitian
Osteoporosis Diagnosis and Treatment Options
When we talk about osteoporosis, we are really looking at your risk for fracture.
According to Osteoporosis Canada, if you are a low risk person it means your fracture risk in the next 10 years is under 10%. A moderate risk person has a fracture risk between 10 and 20%, and a high risk person has a fracture risk over 20%.
The risk of fracture is the serious event in osteoporosis, because fractures cause tremendous disability for patients. For example, if a women has a hip fracture, she has a one in five, or approximately 23% chance, of dying within the next couple of years.
Fractures lead to morbidity, which really reflects disability but they also lead to mortality. We know that when women and men have fractures they’re more likely to end up not being able to live independently. They’re more likely to end up in a nursing home.
And one of the dangers of fractures is that fractures are a predictor for another fracture. If you have a fracture of your back, for example, you’re more likely to have another fracture of your back, by about 40%. So it’s so important to prevent that very first fracture to keep you strong, to keep you upright, to keep you healthy. Local Registered Dietician
In order to do a risk assessment for osteoporosis to assess your risk for fracture, it’s a good idea to see your family doctor to look at information on osteoporosis, which comes from Osteoporosis Canada, and evaluate your personal risk.
So, that you can decide with your primary care practitioner if you need medication to reduce your risk for fracture, so that you can live a long and active life and not be disabled.
Presenter: Dr. Vivien Brown, Family Doctor, Toronto, ON
Local Practitioners: Family Doctor
Sarah Ware, BSc (Hons), RD, CDE, discusses Good Nutrition for Osteoporosis.