If you’re living with osteoporosis, you’re already aware of the impact the condition can have on your life — but chances are strong that other people in your orbit don’t know as much as they could about the disease. That’s why it’s important to raise awareness of the condition — particularly in May, which is National Osteoporosis Month.
It can be hard when your friends and family don’t know what you’re going through. It can also feel difficult to say no to loved ones who don’t understand your situation because you might worry about how your relationships will be affected.
Raising osteoporosis awareness is important so your friends, family, and acquaintances can better understand how to support you. Check out five ways that you can get involved with osteoporosis awareness.
Before you can create public awareness by sharing information with others, it’s a good idea to understand the specifics of osteoporosis. Learn more about osteoporosis’ causes, signs and symptoms, and treatments.
Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to become weak and brittle. In osteoporosis, bones may fracture easily — in fact, the condition is responsible for upwards of 8.9 million broken bones worldwide annually.
Osteoporosis affects approximately 10 million Americans, and you can determine whether you might have the condition by getting bone density tests. If you do have osteoporosis, you can work with a health care team to manage the condition through a combination of treatments and lifestyle changes.
After you’re armed with information about osteoporosis, you can share it with others. The fastest and least expensive way for this kind of advocacy is through social media. You can post information about osteoporosis, share details about the condition, and join communities of other people who are also working to raise osteoporosis awareness.
To ensure your messages on social media spread awareness to as many people as possible, consider using an appropriate osteoporosis-related hashtag, like #osteoporosis, #OsteoporosisAwareness, #NationalOsteoporosisMonth, or #BoneHealth. This way, your posts will be seen by more people who have the same interests, and they’re more likely to share and comment.
Social media posts help raise awareness for the condition and allow other people with osteoporosis to realize they aren’t alone. Joining an osteoporosis community on social media, such as MyOsteoTeam, can also help you connect with others.
If you know people who aren’t aware of their bone health, encourage them to get bone density tests to screen for osteoporosis. Insurers may require a person to be postmenopausal (unless they have certain fractures or other medical conditions) in order to pay for the bone density tests. Almost 80 percent of older people in the United States who experience bone fractures aren’t tested for osteoporosis, so raising awareness about the importance of bone density tests can help others catch osteoporosis early.
In addition, you can wear your message about osteoporosis on shirts and other items of clothing to spread the word.
“I visited the beautiful Yosemite National Park last week, and proudly wore my osteoporosis awareness T-shirt,” one MyOsteoTeam member wrote. “It’s time to put more faces behind this insidious condition!”
Another way to raise awareness about osteoporosis is to participate in an activity dedicated to the cause. You can walk or run for osteoporosis, play bingo, host a silent auction or fundraiser, or even create a unique event that works for your interests. You can help other people understand more about osteoporosis while having fun and working to raise funds for the cause.
If you are able to, you can also donate to the Bone Health & Osteoporosis Foundation to support osteoporosis research and advocacy.
On MyOsteoTeam, more than 61,000 people living with osteoporosis come together to ask questions, give advice, and share their stories with others who understand life with the condition.
Share your osteoporosis journey in the comments below, or start a conversation by posting on your Activities page.