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Make No Bones About It!

In October, skeletons adorn many doorways in anticipation of Hallowe’en. Have you given thought to your own skeleton? It is a hidden star that is the architectural framework for your body. We take it for granted that it will always hold us up. 

We lose bone mass over the years and are prone to breaking bones as we get older. Osteoporosis is a condition of brittle bones or weaker bones. Osteopenia is the initial stage of lower bone mass that has not reached the point of osteoporosis. Both men and women can be susceptible to loss of bone. Women tend to be more at risk and lose bone strength most rapidly after menopause. 

 How can we prevent loss of bone over the years? There are simple recommendations that can help us to decrease bone loss: 


  1. Get enough calcium in your diet. Calcium is best absorbed through food rather than through supplements. The osteoporosis society of Canada has a great resource that outlines food sources of calcium. Take stock to see if you are getting enough. https://osteoporosis.ca/?gad=1 
  2. Take a vitamin D supplement. We don’t get enough vitamin D, especially in the dark winter months. Using 2000 IU a day throughout the year or at least from Thanksgiving to Easter will help you to get this bone important vitamin. 
  3. Exercise!! Weight bearing exercise can prevent bone loss.
  4. Focus on improving your balance. Even if you do have bone loss, doing some form of exercise to decrease falls – think tai chi or yoga – is important to lessen fractures. 
  5. Check with your primary care provider whether you might need to get a bone density test to know where you are at. 


Talk to your family doctor especially if you have risks such as age over 65, kidney disease, a family history of osteoporosis, have been on steroids or have had a broken bone with little trauma. 

Osteoporosis is scary because it can lead to major fractures such as hip or spine. Make your skeleton health enough to display on Hallowe’en! 



Dr. Bhooma Bhayana is a family physician in London and the mother of two young men and proud grandmother of three! She continues to find wonder and enjoyment in family practice despite more than 30 years on the job!


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