Check your osteoporosis risk this Father’s Day

Blog | Real stories

12 Jun 2024

This Father’s Day, Sunday 16 June, we’re asking dads right across the country to consider whether they have risk factors for osteoporosis.

The condition impacts around 800,000 men in the UK but, despite this, almost 70% say they’ve never considered their bone health.

Men often develop osteoporosis because of underlying risk factors, such as steroid treatment for inflammatory conditions or having low testosterone levels.

Geoff paid for a private bone density (DXA) scan after experiencing unexplained back pain when he was 55. He’d read an article in the Daily Mail about the risk of osteoporosis after a vasectomy and the subsequent reduction in testosterone.

The DXA scan not only confirmed that he had osteoporosis, it also revealed that he’d broken three vertebrae in his spine.

Geoff at home

“I joined the Royal Osteoporosis Society (ROS) and learned as much as I could about osteoporosis after my diagnosis,” said Geoff.

“I’m now coming up to my 78th birthday, and I don’t seem to have suffered any further spinal fractures since my initial diagnosis. I’ve lived a full life, largely without pain."

Geoff’s step-daughter has recently been diagnosed with osteoporosis after a period of bone problems, which is why this Father’s Day he’s encouraging families to talk about their bone health.

Currently, only 14% of men say they actively try to improve or maintain their bone health.

“To make sure men aren’t falling through the cracks in diagnosis, we need to break the harmful stereotype that the condition only affects women. By encouraging everyone to consider their bone health, we can work towards everyone living well with osteoporosis,” says Sarah Leyland, Clinical Advisor at the ROS.

It's never too late to start taking action for your bone health, and identifying any osteoporosis risk factors that you may have is a great starting point.

For more information, please visit our Causes of osteoporosis web page.

What can you do to protect yourself?

As well as addressing the risk factors you can change, there are some simple steps you can take to help protect your bones and prevent a fracture.

  • Eating well – Making sure you’re eating a healthy, balanced diet can help support your bone health at every stage of your life. For nutrition tips for healthy bones, visit our Nutrition for bones
  • Being physically active – Bones are made of living tissue and get stronger with use. Find out what activities are good for your bones and check out how to build up exercise for bone strength.
  • Getting enough vitamin D – this helps you to absorb calcium. Spend time outdoors for safe sunlight exposure, eat foods containing vitamin D or take supplements if needed.

We need you!

We’re always on the lookout for people who are willing to share their story, to help us raise awareness of osteoporosis and our work.

Men who share their story like Geoff help to break the stereotype that osteoporosis only affects women, changing attitudes and giving hope to others who may be in a similar situation.

To find out more, visit our share your story page.

Help our specialist nurses continue to support those in need