No bones about it: You and your pharmacist
Did you know that getting osteoporosis is not a normal part of aging?
Did you know osteoporosis is a debilitating disease that affects 2 million Canadians?
Did you also know that 1 in 3 women will break a bone due to osteoporosis in their lifetime?
With hectic schedules and the ever growing to-do list, oftentimes we need help getting everything done. It’s also important to make sure we have the correct information to make the right decisions that affect our health and the health of our family.
As Canada’s population continues to age, more women will be at risk of osteoporosis and will need to understand how to minimize their risk of breaking a bone.
Your pharmacist is a great resource as part of your health care team to help provide you with the information and guidance on the prevention and management of osteoporosis.
You probably already go to your pharmacist to fill prescriptions, but did you know that pharmacists offer a wide range of services that include medication reviews and prescription adaptations and renewals and can advise you on vitamin D and calcium supplementation as a diet lacking in either can also contribute to poor bone health.
Osteoporosis usually progresses without symptoms until a broken bone (fracture) occurs. In some cases, bones affected by osteoporosis can become so fragile that bones break spontaneously or as the result of minor bumps, falls, or normal stresses and strains such as bending, lifting or even coughing.
Osteoporosis Canada has developed a continuing education module that Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacists can take on bone health and osteoporosis which can assist them in assessing your risk for the disease.
Pharmacists are an underutilized resource and are available to help you become informed and provide counselling on better bone health for you and your family.
What Are The Risk Factors
Fractures from osteoporosis are about twice as common in women as they are in men.
As a person ages, the quantity and quality of bone decreases. This increases a person’s risk of osteoporosis.
Estrogen plays a critical role in building and maintaining bone. Decreased estrogen, due to natural menopause, surgical removal of the ovaries, or chemotherapy or radiation treatments for cancer, can lead to bone loss and eventually osteoporosis. After menopause, bone loss occurs as the amount of estrogen produced by a woman’s ovaries drops dramatically. Bone loss is most rapid in the first few years after menopause but continues into the postmenopausal years.
The levels of sex hormones in men also decline after middle age, but the decline is more gradual.
This decline probably also contributes to bone loss in men after around age 50.
Osteoporosis tends to run in families. Having a parent, brother or sister who has osteoporosis puts a person at greater risk.
Smoking may decrease a person’s peak bone mass.
Certain conditions and medications
A wide range of diseases, conditions, medications and medical treatments can cause bone loss, which can result in osteoporosis. This is called secondary osteoporosis.
For more information on osteoporosis visit osteoporosis.ca.