What exactly is it?
Osteoporosis is a health condition that weakens bones, making them fragile and more likely to break. It develops slowly over several years and is often only diagnosed when a fall or sudden impact causes a bone to break (fracture).
Osteopenia is the stage before this happens and is the point when lower bone density can be improved, thus preventing osteoporosis.
- taking high-dose steroid tablets for more than 3 months
- other medical conditions – such as inflammatory conditions, hormone-related conditions, or malabsorption problems
- a family history of osteoporosis – particularly a hip fracture in a parent
- long-term use of certain medicines that can affect bone strength or hormone levels, such as anti-oestrogen tablets that many women take after breast cancer
- having or history of undernutrition
- having a low BMI
- not exercising regularly
- heavy drinking and smoking
Although some medications and genetics are unavoidable, breaking bad habits and promoting good bone health with a balanced diet and exercise is vital for everyone. Vitamin C, D and magnesium contribute towards the normal function and maintenance of bones.* Vitamin D also is required for the normal absorption and utilisation of calcium and phosphorous, and normal blood calcium levels.*