- Marked by thinning of bones, osteoporosis is a silent disease for being asymptomatic and remains undetected until the patient experiences a fracture.
- Osteoporosis is becoming common in relatively younger people, with people aged 35-40 years are found to have low bone mineral density.
- Osteoporosis can be avoided or at least its onset can be delayed by following a healthy diet and an active lifestyle.
Women older than 50 years or who are past their menopause are impacted more by osteoporosis.
Marked by thinning of bones, osteoporosis is also referred to as a silent disease for being asymptomatic and remains undetected until the patient faces a fracture.
The disease makes the bones brittle to an extent that a minor slip, jerk or fall can lead to a major fracture. Although the condition develops with age, but increasingly, osteoporosis is being diagnosed in relatively younger people as well.
“If we are receiving 100 patients of the older age group, at least 30% of them are osteoporotic. In our camps, we now find young people around the age of 35-40 years too with low bone mineral density, which means they are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis. Younger people have become more vulnerable to the disease due to the modern lifestyle, sedentary habit, consumption of alcohol and tobacco, smoking, urban dietary habits of consuming more of high calorific and junk food, adulteration in food, and developing cardiac diseases and diabetes mellitus at an young age.” said Dr. Raj Kamal Srivastava, Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr.GK Srivastava Hospital, Bareilly.
The disease is traditionally more prevalent in women after they hit menopause. Reportedly about 80 per cent women in India, which is more than three in every four women, suffer from osteoporosis and menopausal women above the age of 50 are more at risk.
Explaining why women are more affected, Dr. Raj Kamal Shrivastav said, “Women have lower bone density than men and they lose bone mass more quickly as they age which leads to osteoporosis. This is because of the lack of oestrogen which is a hormone that helps to regulate a woman’s reproductive cycle, and at the same time, plays a key role in keeping bones strong and healthy in both men and women. While premenopausal women have more oestrogen than men, they experience a dramatic drop of oestrogen production after menopause and therefore are more likely to face faster bone loss leading to osteoporosis.”
Adequate and healthy diet plays a crucial role in strengthening of bone and human skeletal system. Osteoporosis can be avoided or at least its onset can be delayed by following a healthy diet and an active lifestyle.
Diet management: Specially, for osteoporosis, a diet rich in calcium, protein, magnesium and vitamin D is vital. The following healthy dietary practices should be followed:
- Include calcium rich food in your diet: Calcium strengthens bone. Non-fat milk, yogurt, broccoli, cauliflower, certain types of fish like salmon, almonds, and green leafy vegetables are all good sources of calcium.
- Protein rich foods like lentils, kidney beans, grains, nuts, and seeds help the body to keep the muscles healthy. Healthy muscles support the bones.
- Consumption of tobacco and alcohol should be reduced as much as possible. Red meat and caffeine should also be avoided.
- Additionally, calcium supplements should be taken as prescribed by your doctor.
Although exercising does not increase bone density, it improves health in more ways than one and also contributes in preventing osteoporosis.
- Don’t exercise body parts which have a history of fracture. This may cause unnecessary injuries.
- Increase physical activity and include exercising in daily routine. Weight bearing exercises and physical activities like running, jumping, walking, and so on help the body maintain good balance and posture.
- Do practise Yoga, as it is known to increase flexibility and strength in body.