It’s scary but true: as you age, your body might turn against you. Everyday activities such as bringing in the groceries or a simple trip and fall can pose threats in the form of fracturing a wrist or ankle. No matter how minor the injury seems, gone are the days where you could just brush yourself off and resume your daily routine. A fracture caused by incidents like these could be a sign of osteoporosis.
As you age, your risk for osteoporosis, a disease that causes brittle bones, rises. While osteoporosis mainly affects women after menopause and men who over 65, it can strike even earlier. Other risk factors for the disease include: a history of smoking, alcohol consumption, family history of fracture, or taking other medications associated with bone loss.
Bone injuries for those with osteoporosis are not simply a skeletal matter. They can have much bigger health implications. A diagnosis of osteoporosis means taking one important detail into account: your bones will no longer support you the way they once did.
A Small Break is a Big Deal
Osteoporosis can lead to a serious fracture in your vertebra, from an act such as rolling off the bed, or in your hip from falling on the stairs. These two areas of your body are vital to your everyday actions and movements. And, according to Osteoporosis Canada, 28 percent of women and 37 percent of men who suffer a hip fracture from osteoporosis will die within the following year.
For those with brittle bones, even if they successfully recover from a break and return home, they are not out of the woods. About a fifth of those who suffer a spinal fracture due to osteoporosis will suffer a second fracture within a year. What’s more, a study found that people who suffered a broken bone from osteoporosis were far more likely to die in the five years immediately after the fracture.
I Get It, Osteoporosis is Scary. Now What?
It doesn’t require a fall to break a bone when a person has osteoporosis. A hard bump into furniture or lifting a bag of groceries may lead to a fracture. Although not as debilitating as a hip fracture, for instance, a broken wrist could hamper normal activities, such as cooking dinner, doing the washing up or even getting dressed and brushing your hair. Click here to learn more about how osteoporosis can affect your life.
The bottom line is this; osteoporosis is a chronic disease that will likely require chronic treatment.
Like all medicines, those for osteoporosis come with both benefits and risks, and these should always be considered prior to initiating therapy. Consult your physician for information about whether osteoporosis medicines, and which ones, are right for you.
Want to know if you’re at risk of a fracture? Speak to your doctor about taking a 10-year fracture risk assessment.
Keep in mind that your bones don’t mean to hurt you: but without proper care and treatment, they might not be able to help it. Know the warning signs of osteoporosis. Click here to learn more about whether you’re at risk of osteoporosis.