‘My life has been hugely impacted by osteoporosis’

“When I was 52, I tripped over a pavement and fractured my ankle. I was treated in A&E but wasn’t asked any further questions at that point or given any follow-up care. I’m a keen runner so once it had healed I continued doing 10Ks and half marathons.

“However, in summer 2021 I developed a stitch in my side while running that didn’t go away, with the pain spreading to my back. After further pain in my right foot, I was sent for an x-ray which showed a fracture, but I hadn’t dropped anything on it or tripped, so I was really confused.”

This prompted more scans, including a CT scan and an MRI scan which Siobhan paid for privately.

“They determined I had two spinal fractures as well, which explained the ongoing pain in my back and sides. I had a Dexa scan to confirm I had osteoporosis.

“I was upset at the time because I felt like I was doing everything I could to keep myself healthy.

“I was told it was hereditary and I knew my mum did have it, but I didn’t know this increased my risk. I started menopause when I was 47 but I didn’t think anything of it. I wasn’t aware of the link between this and bones becoming weaker.

“I know now that as oestrogen drops through the menopause, it can decrease bone density.”

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Siobhan says alarm bells should have been raised by medics after her initial fracture.

She recalled: “It was a very simple fall. I was just walking up to my front door and I tripped on something – my ankle just went. I thought, ‘It’s going to be a sprain or a twist”’.

“I went to hospital two days later and it wasn’t a huge fracture, but the bone was cracked.

“I’ve been told that women with a small frame are more predisposed. I’m about a size 10-ish so I fitted the profile. I was post-menopausal and I’d had a fracture.

“I was a head of sales and marketing. I had previously worked for myself, but I haven’t gone back to work since lockdown.

“My life has been hugely impacted by osteoporosis. I’m a very active member of my running club, I’m on the committee. So I’m still doing all the work for the running club, but I’m not actually partaking in any of the activities. That all had to stop.

“Socialising is affected as well as I can’t stand for too long. We went out on a walk last week and about halfway I said to my husband, ‘I need to take a break and sit down’. Psychologically I’ve had to make a lot of adjustments. If I had had the knowledge earlier, I probably could have halted it and it wouldn’t have become this bad.

“Last winter, when some of the days were really icy and I wanted to go walking, I thought, ‘I have to wait for my husband Martin to come home from work, just for us to go out’.

“I was like, ‘This is crazy’. I was just so scared of falling.

“So it does have an impact on you psychologically.

“I’ve now had an infusion of zoledronic acid in November 2022.

“This is a treatment which will take place every year for three years, at which point my bone density will be measured again via a Dexa scan.

“I am hopeful that zoledronic acid will now be effective in protecting my bones.

“I am doing all I can to help myself.

“I have started again with a gentle exercise routine to build flexibility and strength using weights. In addition, I’m also taking all the recommended supplements and ensuring that I have a diet rich in calcium and Vitamin D.”

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