If you’ve suffered from a stroke, I’m sure your life is quite different than before. There are plenty of adjustments required to maintain health following such a catastrophic event.
But there is one you—or your doctor—may have not considered: bone health.
A recent study has found that stroke patients are at high risk for osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to become weak, porous, and fragile. This can be big trouble if a stroke has resulted in balance and mobility issues. For example, one study found that stroke patients were 47 percent more likely than people without a history of stroke to experience a fracture.
This is especially scary for older individuals, where even a small fall could lead to severe injury or a potential fatality.
Being sedentary can contribute to both stroke and osteoporosis risk, so one of the best things you can do to promote heart and bone health is to get moving. And if you’ve had a stroke, trying to find time to be active—walking or spending time sitting down—can reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis. The more time people spend sitting, the more likely they are to lose bone mass, putting them at higher risk for a fracture.
A new study, however, is suggesting the issue of bone health is not typically addressed by doctors treating stroke patients, and that needs to change. If doctors were more aware of the impact stroke has on bones, they could prescribe treatments to reduce the risk of bone degradation. This is something you can keep in mind if you’re being treated for a stroke.
If you are being treated for stroke, bring up bone health with your doctor before attempting to become more active. You want to be able to work safely within your limits, and a doctor can tell you how.
In the meantime, work on building healthy bones and reducing the risk for stroke by staying active, eating healthy, and doing everything you can to ensure your bones and heart are as healthy as possible.