Especially for postmenopausal women, September is the perfect month to think about and prioritize our health.
I am partnering again with Amgen to share the reminders this month to help keep us on top of maintaining our bone health.
REMINDER #1: HEALTHY AGING MONTH
September is Healthy Aging Month. Due to the pandemic, over the past 20 months I did not get my regular checkup, so now is a perfect time to make it happen. In addition to my regular checkups and bloodwork, I wanted to get back to caring for my bones. I’m heading off to my bone density test, otherwise known as a DXA scan. As I’ve mentioned previously, a DXA scan is a non-invasive, simple test for screening and diagnosing osteoporosis.1
I’ve previously shared my experience with my bone health, and I want to continue the conversation because it is so important for postmenopausal women. It was a DXA scan over 8 years ago that caught my attention because it revealed early signs of bone loss. Since then, I have worked hard to take steps to prioritize my bone health and maintain regular DXA scan appointments. I’m planning to share more details about the DXA scan process this October for World Osteoporosis Day, which is on October 20, so be sure to stay tuned!
With two family members who had to have surgery due to hip fractures, I saw firsthand how life-altering a fracture from a fall can be. I began strength training with weights and practicing good nutrition to turn things around at age 60. Remember, it is never too late to make a difference with your health. I just celebrated my 68th birthday as a much stronger woman.
As I’ve mentioned before, osteoporosis is a bone disease that occurs when the body loses too much bone, makes too little bone, or both.2 As a result, bones become weak and more likely to break.2 Despite common belief, osteoporosis is not a “normal” part of aging.3
- Did you know that more women are hospitalized due to osteoporotic fracture than heart attacks, strokes or breast cancer?4*
- Worldwide, osteoporosis causes more than 8.9 million fractures annually, resulting in an osteoporotic fracture every 3 seconds.5
REMINDER #2: NATIONAL GRANDPARENTS’ DAY
On September 10, grandparents are honored on National Grandparents’ Day. I am blessed to have six wonderful grandchildren all under the age of eight and I want to keep my bones strong and healthy for them, as well.
They are quite active, and I hope to always be the fun “GiGi” who has the strength and the stamina to participate in any activities alongside them. There are a few challenges which come with grandparenting younger children. That brings me to my final September reminder…and a good one even for those who are not grandparents.
REMINDER #3: FALLS PREVENTION AWARENESS WEEK
You are looking at a small snapshot of my family room when my grandchildren are around. The toys are everywhere…even on the stairs. In this picture alone, I see four potential hazards for a fall.
September 21-25 is Falls Prevention Awareness Week, which reminds us that a fall can happen at any time. I have tripped twice over the pets in my home alone, and my mother-in-law broke a hip when our dog caused her to fall.
We should always be aware of our surroundings and potential distractions, which can take our eye off the hazard on the floor. Remember that a previous fracture increases the risk of any additional fracture by 86 percent, compared to people without a prior fracture.6
September is a good time to check your home for potential hazards which could cause a fall. For example, make sure toys, shoes and small items are always put away. Two of my female friends have fallen at night when they got out of bed and tripped on something as small as a shoe. We must be mindful of keeping our homes and surroundings free of obstacles that could potentially lead to a fall. Then, of course, make sure you care for your bone health. Please join me this month by remembering:
- While healthy nutrition and exercise are very important, they may not be enough on their own for women with osteoporosis.3
- As we get back to routine healthcare, I encourage postmenopausal women to make bone health a priority. I went for my checkup and DXA scan. Make sure you do as well.
- SEE THIS LINK for digital resources developed by the CDC Foundation and supported by Amgen, to help prevent falls and fall injuries in older adults (age 65 and older).
- You can learn more about osteoporosis at TAKE CHARGE OF OSTEO.
- As I’ve mentioned previously, especially for women 50 and older, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider about your bone health plan. You can use the DOCTOR DISCUSSION GUIDE to help with this conversation.
Join me this month in getting back to routine healthcare – let’s celebrate bone health and enjoy the month of September with joy.
KEEP SMILING AND BE STRONG!
By Pamela Lutrell
Disclaimer: I was provided compensation for this post, but all words are my own.
*Study conducted in population of U.S women aged ≥ 55 years between years 2000-2011.
- National Osteoporosis Foundation. Bone Density Exam/Testing. Accessed July 20, 2021.
- National Osteoporosis Foundation. What is Osteoporosis and What Causes It? Accessed July 20, 2021.
3.U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Bone Health and Osteoporosis: A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General, 2004.
4.Singer A, Exuzides A, Spangler L, et al. Burden of illness for osteoporotic fractures compared with other serious diseases among postmenopausal women in the United States. Mayo Clin Proc. 2015;90(1):53-62 .
- Johnell O and Kanis JA (2006) An estimate of the worldwide prevalence and disability associated with osteoporotic fractures. Osteoporos Int 17:1726.
- Kanis JA, De LAet C, Delmas P, et al. A meta-analysis of previous fracture and fracture risk. Bone. 2004; 35;375-82.