Bone Health and Osteoporosis

Aditi Patel

Tickle your bones.  Your bones do more than hold you up.  They protect your organs, help you move, and store vital elements for the proper function of your organs and immune system.  Strong bones form the foundation of your body. Building strong bones at an early age is important, but bone loss with age is inevitable.  Maintaining bone health requires different strategies depending on your age, medications and pre-existing conditions.


Osteoporosis is a condition that can occur at any age.  This condition causes bones to become thin and porous, leading to an increased risk of fractures or breaks.  At least 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men will suffer from an osteoporotic fracture in their lifetime. Unfortunately, people do not experience any symptoms until bone loss is so great that a break occurs.  The most common sites for fracture are at the wrist, spine, shoulder, and hip. Treatment for osteoporosis is best early, years before you experience symptoms. Preventing bone loss is essential for future quality of life and good health.


You are at more risk if you are/have:


  • Female
  • Completed menopause
  • Asian or European ancestry
  • Less active or not mobile
  • Lacking calcium in the diet
  • Low in vitamin D
  • Family history of osteoporosis


Certain conditions and medications also place you at greater risk, including:


  • Steroidal medications (ex:  asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory conditions, hormonal treatments)
  • Some seizure medications (ex: phenobarbital, phenytoin)
  • Some antipsychotics
  • Some antidepressants (ex: selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors)
  • Some gastrointestinal medications (ex: proton pump inhibitors)


If you are at higher risk or have experienced a bone fracture in your past, see your doctor and discuss screening for osteoporosis.  People at high risk should start addressing bone health at an early age. Early diagnosis is important so you can slow bone loss.


PharmaChoice pharmacists can help you with building stronger bones, maintaining bone health and slowing bone loss.  Your pharmacist can review your medications for those which may increase your chance for falls, seek alternatives, or other solutions and discuss fall prevention strategies.  Seek advice from your pharmacist regarding calcium and other supplements to maintain bone health.

Aditi Patel
Healthcare Pharmacy PharmaChoice
New Westminster BC