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Love your bones to beat osteoporosis

20 October, 2011

Across Australia more than 1.2 million people, mostly women, are affected by osteoporosis.

 These Australians are living with fragile and brittle bones that can easily fracture. Most people living with the condition won't know they have the 'silent' disease until they have a fall and break a bone.

As part of World Osteoporosis Day, this Thursday, 20 October, Osteoporosis Victoria is urging people to 'love their bones' to beat this silent condition.

"Most people don't know they have osteoporosis until they fall and break a bone. We all can be doing more to beat this 'silent disease'. By acting today, hopefully you can avoid a fracture and the pain and discomfort that comes with living with osteoporosis," said Linda Martin, Osteoporosis Victoria Chief Executive Officer.

"I live with osteoporosis and have had numerous fractures. I know what it's like to have the pain, to worry about falling, to be alert with each step that I take. I also know that I can take charge of my condition to give me the best chance of avoiding a fracture."

On World Osteoporosis Day, Osteoporosis Victoria is urging people to love their bones and beat osteoporosis by:

Embracing an active lifestyle

Keeping active has benefits for bone and muscle strength. To boost bone health to prevent osteoporosis you can participate in weight bearing exercise like brisk walking, resistance training or weights training and balance training, such as sitting on an exercise ball. If you already have osteoporosis, speak to your doctor about designing an exercise program that is right for you.

Embracing calcium rich foods

Your skeleton houses 99 percent of your body's calcium stores. A calcium-rich diet is especially important to build bone during childhood and adolescence, the time of our highest rate of bone growth. Once we become adults and our bone density begins to decrease, you should eat a calciumrich diet to help maintain bone mineral density.

Embracing Vitamin D

By increasing Vitamin D levels through your diet and safe exposure to sunlight you can absorb more calcium, reduce bone loss and improve strength and function of your muscles. Exposure to sunlight is important in maintaining Vitamin D levels, but it is important to minimise risks associated with skin cancer. Alternative sources of Vitamin D include fatty fish (salmon, herring and mackerel), liver, eggs and supplemented foods such as margarine and some types of low fat milk.

You can find out more about Osteoporosis Victoria's exercise programs by calling our Telephone Information Service on 1800 011 041 (from 10am 4pm Monday to Friday).

If you have questions about your osteoporosis or your treatment, you can speak to an Osteoporosis Victoria Nurse by calling the Rheumatology Help Line on 1800 263 265 between 10am 3pm from Monday to Friday.

You can find out more about World Osteoporosis Day by visiting www.worldosteoporosisday.org

Source: Osteoporosis Victoria

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