World Osteoporosis Day
Appearance can be deceiving. Men and women who look strong form outside may actually be weak from inside with their bones and they are not aware of it!
Bone is living tissue, which is constantly being absorbed and replaced. Osteoporosis occurs when the creation of new bone doesn’t keep up with the removal of old bone. Osteoporosis is a disease, which gradually weakens bones, leading to painful and debilitating fragility fractures (broken bones). These can occur after a minor fall from standing height, as a result of a bump, sneeze or even from bending over. Any bone can break due to osteoporosis, but some of the most serious and common fractures are those of the spine, hip and wrist.
Osteoporosis is the silent disease, which inflicts millions of people all over the world. Approximately one in two women and up to one in four men age 50 and older will break a bone due to osteoporosis. October 20 is celebrated as World Osteoporosis Day.
Many steps towards prevention from osteoporosis are being taken; they are: to create awareness of regularly exercising, making sure of getting vitamin (D), calcium, and protein; and getting balanced feeding for this disease. However, the community is still suffering from lack of general awareness, and is in need of coordination at the awareness and education level.
Causes of osteoporosis:
Thousands of reasons may be responsible for osteoporosis. Some of them are non-modifiable and some are potentially modifiable.
Non-modifiable includes advanced age, Race (Asian), Heredity & Short stature. In female’s estrogen deficiency following menopause and in male’s testosterone deficiency; is another non-modifiable reason.
Alcohol, Vitamin D deficiency, tobacco smoking, malnutrition, underweight, soft drinks, low calcium intake, bad eating habits, prolong use of steroids and sedentary lifestyle are some potentially modifiable reasons of osteoporosis
Lifestyle Related Risk Factors:
- Excessive alcohol consumption (more than 2 units a day)
- Poor diet (low levels of calcium, less than 600 mg per day)
- Vitamin D deficiency/insufficiency
- Lack of physical exercise or excessive exercise that leads to low body weight
- Low body mass index (BMI <20)
Effects of osteoporosis:
Effect of osteoporosis may vary from patient to patient but most common effect is bone fracture mainly of hip, wrist or spine. Spine fracture makes your life worse and your daily activities like climbing stairs, sitting, bending forward or lifting any heavy object becomes difficult or impossible. Height loss, Loss of mobility, sloppy posture, hunched back, pain in neck are some common signs of osteoporosis.
Diagnosing weak bones:
There are some radiological and pathological tests available, which confirm weak bones diagnosis. These are DEXA scan of bones or Bone Mineral Density test. Physicians can also assess weak bones through some screening questions. Vitamin D and calcium level also gives bit idea about weak bones.
Prevention of osteoporosis:
Precautionary measure must be taken before reaching the osteoporosis in advanced stage. Body speaks through signs and symptoms and patient should understand it. Although age is an unavoidable factor but prevention can be achieved through a healthy diet, regular exercise and change in life style. Regular bone density, vitamin D and calcium level check-up can help alert you in preventing osteoporosis. Quit smoking and alcohol, start walking, stair climbing, dancing and strengthening exercises to keep the osteoporosis away from you. Wish you Healthy Bones and Joints Always!!!