The Truth About Osteoporosis You Should Know for Healthy Bones

The Truth About Osteoporosis You Should Know for Healthy Bones

Often called a ‘silent disease’, osteoporosis is a health condition that causes the bones to become weak and brittle. And did you know that in India around 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men above the age of 50 experience osteoporotic fractures? Well, in severe cases the bones become so brittle that even bending or rapid coughing can result in the fractures in the hip, wrist or spine. 

Can osteoporosis be detected at an early stage?
While early detection of osteoporosis is rare, there are a few warning signs that indicate the low mineral bone density and an increased risk of osteoporosis. Some of the early signs of bone loss include receding gums, weaker grip strength, brittle and weak nails. Additionally, the best way to detect osteoporosis at an initial stage is to have regular medical checkups especially if you have a family history of osteoporosis. 

What are the symptoms of osteoporosis at a later stage?
Gradually with age, people experience loss in bone density and develop osteoporosis. Early signs of brittle bones that causes fractures in the hip or wrist are followed by other severe osteoporosis symptoms like a noticeable loss in height, debilitating back or neck pain, stooped posture and even frequent cramps and aches. While there is no cure for osteoporosis but timely detection and treatment at an early stage keeps the bones strong and healthy preventing fractures. 

Are there any risk factors for osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a prevalent health condition in both men and women, but it occurs more in women because of hormonal changes in women with ageing. Some other factors that increase the risk of osteoporosis include having a family history of osteoporosis, physically inactive lifestyle, increased use of tobacco and alcohol, eating disorders, consumption of certain medications as well as medical conditions including kidney failure, malabsorption, multiple sclerosis, leukemia, diabetes, hyperthyroidism, hyperparathyroidism and rheumatoid arthritis.

What measures can be taken to prevent osteoporosis?
While some risk factors of osteoporosis can not be controlled but there are a few lifestyle habits that keep the bones healthy and even prevent bone loss. Here’s a list of measures that helps in improving bone health:

Include calcium in your diet 
Sufficient calcium in the body is vital for maintaining bone health. It is recommended that adults below the age of 65 need around 1,000 mg of calcium in one day and the calcium requirement increase to 1,200 mg for those over the age of 65. For optimum calcium intake, try including foods like low-fat dairy products, broccoli, beans or legumes, fortified foods such as bread, cereal, as well as almond milk. 

Add Vitamin D to your meals 
Vitamin D plays an important role in improving the body’s ability to absorb calcium and building bone health. Try including Vitamin D rich food like salmon, mushrooms, eggs and yoghurt. Along with it, 15 minutes of exposure of sunlight on daily basis stimulates Vitamin D production in the body. 

Make regular exercise a must 
Regular physical activity not only helps in preventing bone loss but also in building bone strength. Include more weight-bearing exercises like weight lifting, dancing, jogging, stair climbing, skipping rope, or racquet sports like tennis for improving bone mass. Additionally, you can also combine strength training exercises with weight-bearing and balance exercises to strengthen muscles and bones in your arms and upper spine. 

By: Navreet Kaur | on 2020-11-27

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