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  • Shared Experiences

    How do I cope with Osteoporosis at 39?

    I was diagnosed with Osteoporosis at the age of 39 after a coughing fit caused my back to fracture. At the time I felt like I had just pulled a muscle and my GP prescribed me pain and cough medication. However, the pain became so unbearable that my husband insisted I go to the emergency department for a second opinion where a doctor explained I was suffering post natal depression and imagining the pain to be worse than what it was. He sent me home with a box of valium and more pain medication but I just knew something was wrong. Two days later I insisted on having an MRI scan which revealed I had fractured my back.
    How do I live with this condition for the rest of my life?


    A subsequent bone density scan then revealed that I had the bones of an 80 year old. I was in complete disbelief, as were my family, as before all this I had no idea that there was any problem with my bone health.
    • 2 comments
    • Samantha Ling
    • Ashley Jones
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    Samantha Ling

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    Samantha is an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD), consultant and food and nutrition enthusiast. Samantha works in a private practice on the Central Coast, NSW, Rostant … View Profile

    Osteoporosis is often referred to as the “silent epidemic” - you often don't know you have osteoporosis until you fracture or break a bone.

    Most adults reach what we call our peak bone mass by our mid to late twenties. This is the strongest our bones will ever be. Over the years, our bones will naturally lose small amounts of their density from age related factors but lifestyle factors can also play an important role.

    Alcohol, smoking, excess salt, a high intake of caffeine, a high intake of fizzy drink, a diet low in calcium/vitamin D/vitamin K, sedentary lifestyles/infrequent weight bearing exercises, menopause and some medications (especially corticosteroids often used to treat respiratory diseases) all have negative impacts on our bone health.

    Liaise with your GP on a regular basis and get your bone density levels checked - try to aim at maintaining your current bone density. It may also be worthwhile linking yourself in with a physiotherapist who can show you through weight bearing exercises and stretches which will assist in maintaining your bone density.

    Check your diet - are you getting enough calcium, vitamin D and vitamin K?
    Excellent sources of calcium are dairy products (such as milk, cheese, yoghurt, custard etc) or dairy alternatives (such as calcium fortified soymilk or rice milk, almond milk etc).

    Some dietary tips:
    - for your age/gender you should be aiming for 2.5 serves of calcium rich foods everyday (1 serve is 250ml of milk, 2 slices of cheese, 200g yoghurt etc)
    - take a daily vitamin D supplement if you don't get adequate sunlight exposure (check your vitamin D levels annually)
    - limit alcohol, salt, caffeine and fizzy drink in your diet
    - enjoy a variety of fruit and vegetables everyday, especially dark green leafy veggies as they are rich in vitamin K
    - keep yourself hydrated. Dehydration causes dizzyness and confusion, you don't want to have a fall.

    Samantha Ling (APD)
    Rostant Nutrition
    (find us on facebook at www.facebook.com/rostantnutrition )

  • 2

    Thanks

    Ashley Jones

    HealthShare Member

    is it a bad thing to have osteoporosis at the age of 28 after fracturing my femur in multiple areas near my hip. I'm worried this will stop me from driving trucks for a living 

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