World Osteoporosis Day: Right nutrients to keep the bones healthy

World Osteoporosis Day is celebrated across the globe on 20th October to raise awareness of the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis and metabolic bone disease. This year, the day is celebrated to create awareness about the right nutrients to keep the bones healthy and strong as a well balanced diet with regular exercise helps in reducing the risk of osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is a disease which refers to deterioration of bone tissue. The bones become weak which leads to spinal, hip or wrist fracture. Osteoporosis occurs mostly in women after the age of 50.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO), osteoporosis is the second most serious disorder after cardiovascular disease. It is a burden to the healthcare industry as it mainly affects the old-age population which is growing in number. As per statistics released by WHO, osteoporosis affects about 1 in 8 men and 1 in 3 women. It is because of these statistics that India is counted amongst the largest countries to be affected from osteoporosis.

Factors responsible for osteoporosis 

  • Osteoporosis is common in women over the age of 50, so gender becomes a factor
  • Men over the age of 50 are equally vulnerable
  • If someone in the family has osteoporosis which puts the person at a risk
  • Not consuming enough food or less intake of calcium
  • Long term use of steroids
  • Inactive lifestyle, excess smoking or alcohol intake

Crucial signs to look out for 

  • Excruciating back pain
  • Loss of height in the longer run
  • Bent posture
  • Spinal or hip fracture

Measures for healthy bones

  • Take diet rich in Calcium and vitamin D which can come from milk, yogurt, green leafy vegetables and exposure to natural sunlight
  • Indulge in regular exercises to keep bones strong
  • Never ever say yes to smoking or alcohol drinking
  • Practice yoga, meditation to get rid of stress
  • Maintain a healthy weight

Pointers about osteoporosis 

  • Patients may not know that they are affected until they experience complications such as osteoporosis pain, hip and spinal fractures.
  • As the bone loss is more rapid in women than men due to hormonal changes after menopause, women are at a greater risk of osteoporosis than men.
  • Weight bearing exercise like walking, running, skipping, stair climbing prevents bone loss thus helps in keeping your bones.
  • Since it is prevalent in elderly population, brisk walking is highly recommended for the osteoporosis patients.
  • Spinal fractures, which are common in post-menopausal and older women result in long term pain and can lead to loss of height and curvature of the spine overtime. The resulting change in body shape can further lead to difficulty in breathing, eating and digestion.

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