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Osteoporosis Insights: No-one takes my osteoporosis seriously

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    Despite more than 200 million people living with osteoporosis worldwide,  people with the condition, who have experienced fragility fractures, often suffer feelings of isolation and detachment, which creates a meaningful but often overlooked burden on their lives.

    The nature of the condition causes bones to weaken, making them fragile and more likely to break (a fragility fracture) meaning that a person’s life can be altered without warning. Many people find that they can no longer work, be physically active or interact with family in the same way and thus withdraw themselves from the things they previously enjoyed.

    We asked a group of individuals living with osteoporosis and having experienced fragility fractures if they had felt feelings of isolation following their diagnosis, here’s what we heard:
    • “My first fracture was very traumatic,” said a gentleman in his 50s. “In addition to the pain, I couldn’t get answers as to why it had happened. I was forced to retire from a job I loved, my whole life changed in a heartbeat. I didn’t cope very well with all this change. I became withdrawn and lonely, even amongst friends and family.”
    Others lamented the misperceptions held by their families or loved ones about osteoporosis.
    • “Because when I fell [and fractured] I was all alone, I felt no one took it seriously: ‘Oh only osteoporosis’. And I felt really isolated, even with my family, because they said “that’s just osteoporosis, why are you acting like that? It’s a feeling of isolation most of all,” said a lady in her 60s.
    Another lady explained that limiting herself physically to avoid a fracture meant that she could no longer play with her grandchildren, which had an effect on her whole family.

    For patients who feel isolated or are concerned about the emotional impact of osteoporosis, remember that you are not alone. Speaking to a health professional can help those affected to manage the condition, as can speaking to a peer or support group for advice.

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