What can you do if you are living with osteoporosis?
If you have osteoporosis, you should continue with the lifestyle measures mentioned earlier in terms of eating well, getting enough exercise, avoiding excessive caffeine and alcohol consumption, and not smoking. Make sure that you follow the suggestions of your healthcare provider.You should do all that you can to prevent falls inside and outside of your home. You might want to start with a medical evaluation, which could lead to your healthcare provider providing assistive devices.
Prevent falls inside your home
- Keep your floors free of clutter, including throw rugs and loose wires and cords. Use only non-skid items if you have mats, carpets or area rugs.
- Make sure your lighting is bright enough so that you can see well.
- Do not use cleaners that leave your floors slippery.
- Clean up any spills that happen immediately.
- Use grab bars in the bathroom and railings on stairways.
Prevent falls outside your home
- Make sure lighting is adequate in all areas outside your home.
- Use a backpack or other type of bag that leaves your hands free.
- Keep areas outside in good repair and free of clutter.
- Wear sensible shoes with non-slip bottoms.
This is in no way a complete list of things that you can do to help prevent falls, but this is a starting point. Also remember to take your time. You might be less careful if you are in a hurry.
When should you call the doctor about osteoporosis?
If you have risk factors and are concerned about osteoporosis, ask your healthcare provider about being screened, even if you are not as old as 65 (for women) or 70 (for men). Osteoporosis can be serious. Fractures can alter or threaten your life. A significant number of people have osteoporosis and have hip fractures die within one year of the fracture. Always call your healthcare provider if you fall, if you are worried about bone breaks, or if you have back pain that is severe that comes on suddenly.
Remember that you are able to lead an active and fulfilling life even if you do have osteoporosis. You and your healthcare provider can work together to make this happen.