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Osteoporosis

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What is it?
Osteoporosis is a condition in which a persons bones become weakened, bones are fragile, brittle and more susceptible to fractures .this condition occurs when bones lose their minerals more quickly than the body can replace them. All bones of the body can be affected by osteoporosis however the most common sites affected are found to be bones of the spine, hips and wrists.

What are the Risk Factors?
The following risk factors can increase your chances of developing osteoporosis:
? Gender (females more susceptible due to decreased levels of oestrogen following menopause)
? Family history
? Race (european/asian ancestory)
? Advancing age
? Low body weight
? Low dietary Calcium intake
? Vitamin D deficiency (not enough sunlight)
? Sedentary lifestyle
? Smoking
? Excessive alcohol intake
? Chronic use of medications such as corticosteroids
? Medical conditions such as hyperthyroidism, coeliac disease, chronic liver of kidney disease.

Management
There are several medications available for the treatment of osteoporosis however lifestyle changes and preventative measures such as fall prevention programs are also encouraged.
Medications
Medications currently available in the treatment of osteoporosis aim to decrease the amount of bone lost so that a net gain in bone density occurs over time. Please contact your GP for further information regarding what type of medication will be suitable for your current condition.
Lifestyle Changes
Lifestyle changes are a simple and effective way of improving your bone health. Lifestyle changes can include:
? Increasing calcium intake through diet or supplementation
? Increasing levels of physical activity throughout the week
? Quit smoking
? Decrease alcohol intake
? Increase exposure to sunlight to correct any Vitamin D deficiencies

Exercise as a Treatment
Sedentary lifestyles encourage the loss of bone mass, for this reason regular exercise is highly recommended for people with osteoporosis as it has been shown to slow age related bone loss as well as improve general health. People with osteoporosis should only perform low-impact weight-bearing exercises. Gentle exercises with light weights are recommended. Exercises to prevent falls are also encouraged. Suitable exercise include:
? Tai chi
? Walking
? Stair climbing
? Line dancing
? Upright cycling
? Low impact aerobics or water aerobics
? Standing on one leg, heel-to-toe, walking along a line, sideways over objects.
? Low-weight, high repetition resistance exercises.

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