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What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a condition that affects the bones causing them to become weak and fragile and making them more prone to break or fracture. These breaks most commonly occur in the wrist, hip and spine. Around 250,000 people in Scotland are living with osteoporosis.

Causes of Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis usually affects older people and it is more common in women than in men. Other factors that can also increase the risk of developing osteoporosis include:

  • Family history of osteoporosis
  • Low body mass index (BMI)
  • Lack of exercise for long periods of time
  • Heavy smoking or drinking
  • Steroid medication- taking steroid medication for 3 months or more can lead to loss of bone density.

Preventing osteoporosis

If you're at risk of developing osteoporosis, there are steps you can take that may help to keep your bones healthy:

  • Exercising regularly
  • Eating a balanced diet
  • Giving up smoking and reducing your alcohol consumption  

Help and Support

If you are worried that you might have osteoporosis, or have been diagnosed with the condition it is a good idea to see your GP. They can give information and advice, discuss treatment options and should be able to answer any questions you have.

Useful Contacts

The National Osteoporosis Society
The National Osteoporosis Society is the only UK-wide national charity dedicated to improving the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis. The charity provides advice and information on all aspects of osteoporosis through its helpline and information booklets, as well as offering people with osteoporosis support through its network of local support groups.


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