Vitamin D & Osteoporosis

Vitamin D3 helps to build strong bones and is essential for everyone throughout life.
• Vitamin D3 is very important to help protect our bones, your body to absorb calcium and supporting your muscles to help decrease falls, as well as helping your immune system.
• The lack of sunshine and the fact that only a few foods naturally contain vitamin D3 is an issue in Ireland.
• We usually have some sunny days in May, June, July, and August, so 15 minutes a day in the sun, then put sunblock on. If you burn easily, please do not try to get your Vitamin D from the sun.
• In Ireland, 74% of adults and 88% of primary school children, have less than half of the recommended daily amount of vitamin D.
• In the winter it is extremely important to make sure you are getting enough Vitamin D3.
• Vitamin D3 can only be found in a few foods: Oily fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel, halibut, and herring, are all excellent sources of vitamin D3. Eating oily fish twice a week can help get your vitamin D3, depending on the portion size.
• Eggs contain Vitamin D3 and a lot of milk products and margarine are fortified with vitamin D3.
• Breakfast cereals, soya milk, and rice milk may also be fortified with vitamin D3. Low Vitamin D levels are very common in Ireland.

Vitamin D & Osteoporosis

Calcium can be found in some foods

Calcium helps to keep our bones healthy, our muscles, nerves, cells, and our heart working properly, and help blood clots to form when we cut ourselves. 99% of the calcium in our bodies is in our bones and teeth.

Dairy products are one of the best sources of calcium (milk, cheese, and yoghurt), especially fortified milks, as they have calcium and vitamin D3. Bread, nuts, oily fish, sesame seeds, dried fruit, and tofu also contain calcium, as well as some dark green vegetables. Some brands of orange juice and most breakfast cereals have added calcium. How much calcium and Vitamin D3 Women and men 50+ years with bone loss = 1200 mg of Calcium per day Women and men 50+ with bone loss = 20-30µ / 800-1000 IU of Vitamin D3 per day

*Note: There are Calcium and vitamin D3 supplements, as well as vitamin d supplements, but should only be taken by those who cannot get their daily amounts from food.

What is Osteoporosis?

Bone is living tissue that is constantly being removed and replaced. You will not feel your bones getting thinner, that is why it is so important to check if you are at risk. Osteoporosis is preventable and treatable in the majority of people. The image directly above shows how Osteoporosis causes large holes to develop in bone, which is why bones break easily.

Who is at risk of developing Osteoporosis?

It is estimated that 300,000 people in Ireland have Osteoporosis, with only approximately 19% of people with Osteoporosis being diagnosed. It affects females and males of all age groups and can affect children. 90% of fractured hips are due to Osteoporosis, 7 out of 10 hip fractures happen to women, so please contact us for further information, as we are the National Osteoporosis experts.

What are the risk factors for losing bone? For you to improve your bone health, it is essential that the cause/s of your bone loss are investigated and addressed, NOT assumed. There are approximately 200 causes of bone loss which include: Menopause, Family history; especially of a broken hip; Radiation, Chemotherapy, some treatments for breast and prostate cancer, Coeliac disease/gluten & wheat sensitivity; Anorexia/Bulimia, over-exercising, many medications such as protein pump inhibitors, others that contain cortisone, some anti-depressants and some water pills; Low calcium and/or Vitamin D intake or poor absorption; Physiological or Psychological stress; smoking and excess alcohol. Effects of undiagnosed or untreated Osteoporosis: Broken bones, which can lead to disfigurement, pain, incontinence, and loss of independence.

 

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Signs and Symptoms of possible undiagnosed Osteoporosis:

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1

A broken bone from a trip and fall or less: Even if you fall on cement or ice.

2

Loss of height or change in your body shape or size: Rounded shoulders and/or pot belly developing.

3

Your head protruding forward from your body: You can not stand in the military position.

4

A hump developing on your upper back: It is urgent you get a DXA scan with an LVA done ASAP.

5

Back pain: 75% of people with broken bones in their back have intermittent back pain, only 25% have constant pain.

6

Unexplained broken bones: Anyone with undiagnosed Osteoporosis can cough, sneeze, stand up from a chair, roll over in bed and break bones.

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