Osteoporosis in men: not as rare as once believed, but sometimes missed



    OTTAWA, Oct. 24 /CNW Telbec/ - Men can suffer from Osteoporosis, but it
is often missed because it is considered less probable than in women. Michael,
an active Ottawa resident remembers when he was finally diagnosed, "It took a
long time for my diagnosis to be confirmed and when I was first diagnosed with
Osteopenia, the early stages of Osteoporosis, I didn't realize how much I'd
have to change my lifestyle, and I found it frustrating."
    Having retired from a desk job, Michael wasn't about to be shackled to
one place for any serious length of time. Combining his enjoyment of being
with others and taking to the open road, he volunteered as a driver for both a
retirement residence, and a community service agency for nine years. One
spring afternoon in 2004, lifting a walker out of his van, the snap, which he
initially thought a sprain, ended-up with Michael sleeping in a reclining
chair.
    His visit to his doctor, and x-rays didn't indicate skeletal causes for
the injury, and his earlier bone density scan had indicated only a mildly
reduced level of density compared to his young adult years. While the results
met World Health Organization criteria for osteopenia, his test results were
not in the range for increased risk of fracture.
    "When I recovered from that first break, I decided to head out on another
road trip," he notes. "I lifted our bicycles into the car and injured myself
once again. I was surprised and a little frustrated because I didn't think
that I could be suffering from Osteoporosis. My bone density had once again
decreased, but not enough to be considered a true sufferer."
    He once again aggravated his lower back by riding in the stern of a speed
boat bouncing over two foot waves, and following several more fractures
Michael wanted to make some changes.
    "I decided that if I ever wanted to enjoy this activity again, I would
have to take control of the situation making sure it was clear to others that
this was no longer a mere inconvenience, but something that required my
serious attention. After one more try with exercise and physiotherapy, I was
finally diagnosed with severe Osteoporosis."
    After attending an Osteoporosis Canada Ottawa Chapter information
session, Michael met Catherine Morisset, a professional fitness trainer and
lifestyle consultant, whom he touts as a turning point in his life: "I had
finally found a professional who was knowledgeable, experienced, patient but
persistent, who could set me on a path of self-help through proper nutrition
and exercise."
    While the results were slow, they certainly were visible, he notes: "In
one year I went from hardly being able to walk for even a few minutes to
20 minutes or more, from picking up most items with grippers to being able to
bend down again, from being lethargic to improved energy, from yelping "ouch"
at every bump the car hit to no "ouch" at all! Another clear and staggering
difference was my 1 inch height increase just from improved posture."
    Michael's situation is classic in that many men, and women affected by
early stage bone deterioration find it difficult to understand the gravity of
the situation and are often left with only guidelines about how to care for
themselves and this condition. Active people are hesitant to give up their
daily activities, like shopping, laundry, gardening and housework.
    As he did last year, Michael is planning on attending Osteoporosis
Canada's Bone China Tea, Sunday, November 4, 2007 at the Tudor Hall in Ottawa.
In addition to Dairy Farmers of Canada, local supporters of the Bone China Tea
include the Retirement Residences Group, Rogers Television,, Eli Lilly, Amgen,
GlaxoSmithKline, Zelos Therapeutics Inc., Actonel Alliance, the Ottawa SUN,
CNW Group and AlaVida Lifstyles.

    For more information contact the Ottawa Chapter of Osteoporosis Canada at
613-729-8489 or ottawa@osteoporosis.ca.

    About Osteoporosis Canada

    Osteoporosis Canada, a registered charity, is the only national
organization serving people who have, or are at risk for, osteoporosis. The
organization works to educate, empower and support individuals and communities
in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis by providing medically
accurate information to patients, health professionals and the public.
    1.4 million Canadians suffer from osteoporosis. One in four women and at
least one in eight men over the age of 50 has osteoporosis. However, the
disease can strike at any age. The cost of treating osteoporosis and the
fractures it causes is estimated to be $1.3 billion each year in Canada alone.
Long term, hospital and chronic care account for the majority of these costs.
    A national voluntary Board of Directors governs the organization. A
53-member Scientific Advisory Council made up of medical and scientific
experts from across the country provides guidance in all medical matters. For
more information visit the Osteoporosis Canada website at www.osetoporosis.ca.




For further information:

For further information: Kate Murchison, Chair, Communications,
Osteoporosis Canada, Ottawa Chapter, (613) 591-6040 x1415,
skatiemurch@hotmail.com

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