What is the Royal Osteoporosis Society & what do you need to know about osteoporosis?

13th February 2019 saw the launch of the newly named Royal Osteoporosis Society (ROS), a UK charity which had been previously known as the National Osteoporosis Society since it was established in 1986. With the launch of its new title comes big plans to boost awareness of Osteoporosis, its symptoms and risks, as well as a key mission to find a cure for this serious condition.

In this post, you can find out more about the ROS and its mission, along with key information about osteoporosis that everyone, no matter how old or young, should be aware of.

The Royal Osteoporosis Society

The ROS is the only UK-wide charity focussed on improving the lives of those who are affected by osteoporosis, whilst also trying to find a cure for the disease.

In the 30+ years that the charity has been operating, its members have worked incredibly hard to raise awareness of bone health and how osteoporosis can affect day to day life, with the aim of significantly reducing the number of individuals affected by the condition over time.

The ROS also works with the NHS and other members of the healthcare system, to shorten the time it takes to diagnose osteoporosis and to improve the care available.

Supporting the ROS with the Osteocare range

Vitabiotics has been a proud supporter of the ROS for over two decades. Working with the ROS to help them achieve their objectives, we strive to raise awareness of the importance of bone health, by displaying the charity’s logo on the packaging of our Osteocare products. The ROS also keeps us updated with the latest opportunities and where our support can fit in to help the charity and its audience.

Take a look at the variety of Osteocare supplements available at Vitabiotics. Osteocare is the UK’s No.1 bone health formula that has been scientifically developed using the very latest research, to include calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and zinc, all of which contribute to the maintenance of normal bones.

Vitabiotics and Osteocare pledge to continue supporting the ROS for the foreseeable future, and we will soon be announcing further initiatives to increase our support for this worthwhile charity.

The future of the ROS

The Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla, has been a strong advocate of the ROS for over 20 years, due to her own mother losing her life to osteoporosis in 1994. As president of the organisation since 2001, she announced its royal patronage during the launch of its new name on 13th February, whilst also emphasising the importance of awareness and education on the condition from a young age.

“When you are young, you’re immortal. You don’t think about dying, getting old and breaking bones. But I think if we can just tell them how important it is to eat the right things, to take exercise – these will go a long way to keeping their bones healthy.”

At the launch, the charity also announced their upcoming academy, the Osteoporosis and Bone Research Academy. This newly formed group will see the charity working alongside various partners and programmes to carry out further research and “develop a deeper understanding of osteoporosis”, all of which will lead to new ways of finding a cure.

The charity’s chief executive, Claire Severgnini, has also announced that the ROS will be working on an “osteoporosis research roadmap”. This initiative will highlight the route to finding a cure and to prevent the condition affecting millions of people in the future, in the same way that it does today.

What everyone needs to know about osteoporosis

You might have heard of osteoporosis before, but are you aware of who it affects and the signs to look out for? Alternatively, you might know absolutely nothing about osteoporosis - in which case, the following information provides a good starting point for you to learn more about the disease.

Osteoporosis is a health condition that weakens bones, making it much easier to fracture them, even after a minor knock, bump or fall. The disease affects around 2 million individuals in the UK, and every year, around 300,000 of these individuals break a bone as a result.

Many believe that it’s just older people who are affected by osteoporosis, when in fact, plenty of younger people suffer from the condition too. On average, one in five men develops osteoporosis, compared to around half of women.

Signs and symptoms of osteoporosis

Very few symptoms present themselves when osteoporosis first develops - many people don’t realise they have it until they break their first bone in the aftermath, and it’s usually the hip, wrist or spine that is affected. However, ongoing back pain in the over 50s is often a telltale sign and something well worth visiting your doctor about.

If you thought that getting shorter was something that naturally comes with age, you would be wrong. In fact, losing height is commonly associated with the development of osteoporosis and it’s the breaking of bones that is causing an individual to appear shorter.

The ROS has also stated that osteoporosis can run in families, so if there is a history of the condition affecting your family’s generations, it's worthwhile speaking to your doctor and to the ROS about any concerns you have.

Whether there’s a family history or not, everyone should follow advice on how to reduce your chances of developing osteoporosis in the future.

How to improve bone health and reduce your chances of developing osteoporosis

Just like you would try to take care of your heart and mind, you should try to keep on top of your bone health in order to prevent conditions like osteoporosis from developing in the future.

It’s never too early to start thinking about bone health - in fact, you’re much less likely to develop the condition if you take the necessary steps at a younger age. The ROS recommends that you “build your bone bank” before you reach your 30th birthday, to really boost your chances of avoiding the condition.

Maintaining a healthy balanced diet and a good body weight are the first steps towards boosting bone health. Calcium is an essential part of a healthy balanced diet, and anyone following a vegan or dairy-free diet should pay extra close attention to consuming calcium from other sources.

Make time to fit in 30 minutes of exercise every day. Whether that’s a brisk walk to work, a jog at sunset, a HIIT workout at the gym, or even a fun and exhilarating trampolining or rebounding class, regular exercise works hand in hand with a healthy balanced diet to keep your body as happy and healthy as possible.

Avoid drinking too much alcohol and smoking altogether, both of which can reduce your overall health and your body’s ability to fight off dangerous conditions.

Consider adding Osteocare to your daily diet, a vitamin supplement from Vitabiotics that’s been specially formulated to support men and women of all ages with the maintenance of healthy bones.

It’s also important to bear in mind that, in some cases, risk factors cannot be prevented or reduced. If the condition runs in your family and genetics suggest that you’re more susceptible to osteoporosis, it’s just as important for you to follow a healthy lifestyle, but to also speak to your doctor and the ROS about your options and thinking ahead to the future.

For more information about the ROS and their plans to tackle the condition, head over to their website where you can find plenty of facts and advice surrounding osteoporosis. You can also donate to the charity through their website, to contribute towards the incredible work they are carrying out.

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Alexandra Phillips

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