Friday, April 19, 2024

Be Unbreakable: Feel It in Your Bones Magazine – Your Guide to Understanding Osteoporosis

For me, osteoporosis is personal. My 92-year-old grandmother broke her hip when she fell at home and passed away soon afterward. She became part of a grim statistic – 28 per cent of women over age 80 who suffer a hip fracture die within a year of the occurrence. (It’s even worse for men at 37 per cent.) I didn’t realize then that her hip fracture was likely due to osteoporosis – untreated and undiagnosed. 

She died in a long-term care home unable to walk, or to recognize the faces of her family. It didn’t have to be that way. If only she had had a bone density test at age 65 or received treatment, the last chapter of her life could have ended much better.

Working on the Feel It in Your Bones magazine was inspiring. I learned that osteoporosis is not a normal part of aging. It is not inevitable and steps can be taken to prevent it. Talking to leading experts – doctors and pharmacists, I know now bone fractures are not normal. Healthy bones shouldn’t break if you slip on ice, or stub your toe. A fracture is a huge red flag telling you something is amiss. Yet too often, hospitals will treat the break and send patients home without investigating the underlying cause or offering follow-up treatment. 

That can change with increased awareness – YouAreUNLTD’s goal in producing a magazine packed with essential information on bone health. It’s full of tips and expert advice that can change the trajectory of your life and enable you to live powerfully – the guiding principle of everything we do at YouAreUNLTD.

We’re proud to share Feel It in Your Bones magazine in time for Osteoporosis Month in Canada. It’s an ideal time to put bone health front and centre, and to talk about this “silent disease.” In truth, bone health should be a priority all year round, especially for Canadians – most of whom are deficient in vitamin D, an important mineral for maintaining strong bones. 

Let’s break the silence. Discuss your risk factors and how to get a diagnose for the disease with your doctor. Ask your pharmacist about supplements and treatment. Bring up the subject with loved ones. 

Those conversations are not happening enough. A global survey found less than a quarter of Canadian women over 55 believe they’re at risk of osteoporosis. And despite being at high risk due to rapid bone loss after menopause, less than half of Canadian women over 55 have spoken to their doctor about the disease. Four out of five Canadian women 65 or older don’t think they are at risk of it.

Knowledge is power. I wish I had said something to my grandmother about osteoporosis. Maybe her life story could have had a happier ending. The good news is that it’s not too late for me or for you to take charge of your bone health. Our Feel It in Your Bones magazine shows you how and gets the conversation started. Enjoy!

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Michele Sponagle
Michele Sponagle
Michele Sponagle is a prolific lifestyle journalist based in Paris, Ontario, who has contributed to many leading media outlets, from the Washington Post to Canadian Living.