The Silent Bone Disease

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Just how common is osteoporosis? And how can it be prevented? Read on to find out if you could be at risk, and discover ways to maintain healthy bones.

You may know that osteoporosis means having fragile, porous bones. It’s a disease that makes everyday activities dangerous because even the simplest movements can lead to fractures. But what’s scary about osteoporosis is that it often sneaks up on people without them knowing, which is why it’s called “The Silent Thief.” Sadly, by the time it’s usually detected, most people have already had significant bone loss.

Osteoporosis is also surprisingly common. As many as 1.4 million Canadians suffer from this potentially debilitating disease. And every year there are approximately 21,000 osteoporosis-related hip fractures, 50% of which cause disability, and 20% of which lead to death.

Who is at risk? While osteoporosis is generally thought of as a woman’s disease, it actually affects both men and women. Approximately one in four women and one in eight men over the age of 50 will develop osteopoross. It’s more prevalent in women largely because of the role estrogen plays in keeping bones healthy. At menopause, a woman’s estrogen level drops dramatically, and she begins to lose bone mass at a much faster rate. In fact, a woman can lose between two to five percent of her bone density each year during the first five to ten years following menopause. Menopause isn’t the only thing that increases your risk though. There are many factors that can lead to osteoporosis.

Risk factors for osteoporosis

  • A family history of osteoporosis
  • Body weight less than 57 kg (125 lbs)
  • Low dietary calcium intake
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol intake
  • Excessive caffeine intake
  • Medical conditions that affect nutrient absorption
  • Loss of more than 10% of body weight after age 25
  • Reduced bone density (osteopenia)
  • Early menopause (before age 45)
  • Loss of menstrual periods in young women
  • Low testosterone levels in men
  • Chronic anticonvulsant (anti-seizure) therapy
  • How can it be prevented? Fortunately, there are things you can do to help maintain strong bones and stave off osteoporosis. In addition to doing weight-bearing exercise and having a balanced diet, it’s also a good idea to take a calcium supplement. Women over 50 should consume 1,500 mg of calcium daily, but it can be difficult to get this amount through diet alone. To put it in perspective, you’d have to drink five glasses of milk, or eat five cups of yogurt to get your 1,500 mg of calcium. Given this, it’s no wonder the average Canadian woman over the age of 50 has a calcium intake approximately half that of the recommended amount.

    Caltrate SelectWhy should you choose Caltrate®? In addition to providing 600 mg of elemental calcium, Caltrate has vitamin D – an important nutrient that helps increase calcium absorption by as much as 80%. Unfortunately, in Canada, we don’t get enough sun – our main source of vitamin D. And the sunscreens we use to protect our skin can actually block vitamin D.

    What’s more, the calcium in Caltrate – calcium carbonate – is the most concentrated source of calcium. Calcium carbonate contains 40% elemental calcium by weight versus calcium citrate, which only has 20% elemental calcium.This means fewer pills to take.

    And, if you don’t like taking a tablet, Caltrate is also available in soft chews and chewable tablets.

    Osteoporosis CanadaDon’t let osteoporosis sneak up on you. Help reduce your risk with Caltrate.

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