Brisbane woman Fiona Shaw found out she had brittle bones eight years ago and wants to girls to improve their bone health while they're young to prevent osteoporosis.
Brisbane woman Fiona Shaw found out she had brittle bones eight years ago and wants to girls to improve their bone health while they're young to prevent osteoporosis.

Love your bones on Osteoporosis Day

HEALTH experts, government representatives and consumer groups will meet in Sydney today for World Osteoporosis Day to promote bone health and advise ways to reduce the crippling disease.

Osteoporosis Australia's national Building Healthy Bones Throughout Life Summit will provide recommendations on calcium and vitamin D intake and the type of exercise required to prevent the onset of osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is expected to more than double to 3 million by 2021 without preventative action.

Medical Director of Osteoporosis Australia, Professor Peter Ebeling, said more than one million Australians currently suffer from osteoporosis and more than 5.4 million have low bone density.

"If we lay the foundations for strong bones during childhood through balanced diet, including three servings of calcium-rich food every day and regular weight-bearing exercise, we can reduce the onset of osteoporosis and the risk of fractures," Prof Ebeling said.

Brisbane woman Fiona Shaw knows the challenges osteoporosis sufferers are confronted with everyday. Eight years ago she was diagnosed with osteoporosis, brought on by an eating disorder and constant dieting. 

"Although I was resigned to having some complications from my eating disorders, I was shocked," Ms Shaw said.

"I had been a dancer but had always loved dairy products and green veggies.

"I didn't realise that when your body is malnourished and that when you don't give it enough nutrition, it doesn't matter how 'good' that nutrition is because it's still not enough."

Ms Shaw said the diagnosis was a wake-up call.

"I was very scared that I was going to end up a hunchback, or a cripple from broken bones, at a very young age."

"Young people need to realise that it's vital to build their bone density in their younger years.

"If they are dieting, they are missing out on building bone stores that may lead to problems later on. It can happen to anyone and it can happen when you're young," she said.

"I am now managing my osteoporosis better through a calcium-rich diet, vitamin D supplements and maintaining a steady weight."

Fiona, who is celebrating her 34th birthday today, is hoping her story will help other young girls who don't believe this could happen to them.

According to Osteoporosis Australia CEO Shelley Evans, this year's World Osteoporosis Day theme is "love your bones", which encourages people to embrace calcium, vitamin D and have an active lifestyle.

"(To celebrate the day), we are partnering with The Jean Hailes Foundation for Women's Health in hosting a free public seminar with bone health experts in Sydney from 6pm today," Ms Evans said.
 

 

About World Osteoporosis Day

World Osteoporosis Day is organised by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) in partnership with Osteoporosis Australia.

It is an international awareness day that helps with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis and metabolic bone disease.

For more information, visit www.osteoporosis.org.au or check out their Facebook page.



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