A silent disease of the bones

Osteoporosis or a reduction in our bone strength is a silent disease, which is why we need to bring attention to it before we break a bone. Contrary to popular belief it’s not just ‘an old person’s disease’, the diagnosis can occur at any age and there can be a range of risk factors at play.

Like many major health concerns, good nutrition, exercise and medication are essential to preventing and managing Osteoporosis. The disease is less likely to occur and be better controlled when we maintain good nutrition and exercise in conjunction with regular dialogue with your GP.

A balanced diet is one that contains calcium, protein, grains and cereals, fresh fruit and vegetables in the correct daily amounts. Exercise needs to consist of weight-bearing and resistance exercises, such as walking, hiking, dancing, bike riding, and weights to name a few.

There are other things you can do proactively to help guard yourself from a fall in and around your home. Be aware of your balance and if it isn’t great, speak to your GP about the benefit of Better Balance Classes, consider using a walking stick, especially when outside the home, be sure to remove trip hazards like rugs and mats. Keep your space clutter free to avoid unnecessary falls. Install and make use of anti-fall products like grab-handles and non-slip options in the bathroom.

Look out for risk factors and known indicators, please speak with your doctor if you are concerned of any of the below…

Risk factors or indicators for Osteoporosis:
Anyone over the age of 70
Over the age of 50 with a minimal impact fracture
Premature menopause
Very low body weight
Calcium under-nutrition (Hypocalcemia)
Smoker
Drink more than two small glasses of alcohol per day
Vitamin D deficient
Diagnosed with Chronic Kidney disease, liver disease, celiac disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis

On coming to our clinic for a check-up, your GP will discuss your risk factors and possibly refer you for a Bone Density Scan, discuss your ideal nutrition and exercise options, and have your bloods tested if you haven’t had them done in a while.

Please note: If you are over the age of 70 and you have never had a bone density test, you should come and discuss that with your GP. The test only takes 15 – 20 minutes at an Imaging Centre.

Treatment of Osteoporosis
Should your bone density test indicate Osteoporosis, our GPs and friendly nurses help support you on your journey through ongoing treatment including medication, diet and exercise.

PLEASE DO NOT PUT OFF APPOINTMENTS WITH YOUR GP, SPECIALIST, PREVENTATIVE HEALTH NURSE OR ALLIED HEALTH PROFESSIONAL ON ACCOUNT OF COVID-19.

The impact of COVID-19 will eventually lessen with time. However, the effects of not looking after a chronic illness could have a long lasting negative effect on your quality of life or life expectancy.

Located at Castle Hill Medical Centre, we have a dedicated Preventative Health Nursing Team that services both Castle Hill Medical Centre and Castle Medical Centre, Castle Hill. Our team encourages, educates, and works closely with GPs to provide Management Plans including referrals to Allied Health Professionals. We are your advocates. And we encourage you to get in touch if you have any concerns today.

You can contact our team for a chat or to book an appointment call 9634 5000.

Cathie Hufton
Clinical Team Leader – Preventative Health Unit
Castle Hill Medical Centre & Castle Medical Centre, Castle Hill

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