What does having Osteoporosis mean?

Osteoporosis in Kenya, which literally means porous bone, is a disease in which the density and quality of bone are reduced. As bones become more porous and fragile, the risk of fracture is greatly increased. The loss of bone occurs silently and progressively. Often there are NO SYMPTOMS until the first fracture occurs.

Osteoporosis in Kenya

Risk factors of Osteoporosis in Kenya

Many hormones in the body affect bone turnover. If you have a disorder of the hormone-producing glands, you may have a higher risk of developing osteoporosis.

Hormone-related disorders that can trigger osteoporosis include:

Overactive thyroid gland

Disorders of the adrenal glands, such as Cushing’s syndrome

reduced amounts of sex hormones (oestrogen and testosterone)

disorders of the pituitary gland

Over-activity of the parathyroid glands

Other factors thought to increase the risk of osteoporosis in Kenya and broken bones include:

a family history of osteoporosis

a body mass index (BMI) of 19 or less

long term use of high-dose steroid tablets

heavy drinking and smoking

Rheumatoid arthritis

Mal-absorption problems, as in coeliac disease and Crohn’s disease

long periods of inactivity, such as long-term bed rest

Who can get Osteoporosis in Kenya?

Anyone can get osteoporosis but women are about four times more likely than men to develop it. There are two main reasons for this:

The process of bone loss speeds up for several years after the menopause, when the ovaries stop producing the female sex hormone oestrogen.

Men generally reach a higher level of bone density before the process of bone loss begins. Bone loss still occurs in men but it has to be more severe before osteoporosis occurs.

Some people have back problems if the bones of the spine (vertebrae) become weak and lose height. These are known as vertebral crush fractures. They usually happen around the mid or lower back and can occur without any injury. If several vertebrae are affected, your spine will start to curve and you may become shorter.

Osteoporosis in Kenya


Helpful tips


Being underweight increases the chance of bone loss and fractures. Excess weight is now known to increase the risk of fractures in your arm and wrist. As such, maintaining appropriate body weight is good for bones just as it is for health in general.

Active lifestyle 

People who spend a lot of time sitting have a higher risk of osteoporosis in Kenya than do those who are more active. Any weight-bearing exercise and activities that promote balance and good posture are beneficial for your bones, but walking, running, jumping, dancing and weightlifting seem particularly helpful. 

Reduce tobacco and alcohol consumption

Regular consumption of more than two alcoholic drinks a day increases your risk of osteoporosis. The exact role tobacco plays in osteoporosis isn’t clear, but it has been shown that tobacco use contributes to weak bones.


Protein is one of the building blocks of bone. Most people get plenty of protein in their diets, but some do not. Vegetarians and vegans can get enough protein in the diet if they intentionally seek suitable sources, such as soy, nuts, legumes, seeds for vegans and vegetarians, and dairy and eggs for vegetarians.

Older adults might eat less protein for various reasons. If you think you’re not getting enough protein, ask your doctor if supplementation is an option.


Men and women between the ages of 18 and 50 need 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day. This daily amount increases to 1,200 milligrams when women turn 50 and men turn 70.

Good sources of calcium include:

Low-fat dairy products

Dark green leafy vegetables

Canned salmon or sardines with bones

Soy products, such as tofu

Calcium-fortified cereals and orange juice

If you find it difficult to get enough calcium from your diet, consider taking calcium supplements.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D improves your body’s ability to absorb calcium and improves bone health in other ways. People can get some of their vitamin D from sunlight, but this might not be a good source if you live in a high latitude, if you’re housebound, or if you regularly use sunscreen or avoid the sun because of the risk of skin cancer.

To get enough vitamin D to maintain bone health, it’s recommended that adults ages 51 to 70 get 600 international units (IU) and 800 IU a day after age 70 through food or supplements.

Food supplements

Collagen peptides with Magnesium

In one study, women took either a calcium supplement combined with 5 grams of collagen or a calcium supplement and no collagen daily for 12 months.By the end of the study, the women taking the calcium and collagen supplement had significantly lower blood levels of proteins that promote bone breakdown than those taking only the calcium (16Trusted Source).

Another study found similar results in 66 women who took 5 grams of collagen daily for 12 months. The women who took the collagen showed an increase of up to 7% in their bone mineral density (BMD), compared with women who did not consume collagen (17Trusted Source). BMD is a measure of the density of minerals, such as calcium, in your bones. Low BMD is associated with weak bones and the development of osteoporosis (18Trusted Source).

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