What is Osteoporosis?
It’s a slow progressive condition and develops over the years, where the bones become brittle and weak and may break from even minor bumps, jerks or a fall. This disease causes loss of bone density (strength and mass of bone) and increases the risk of fractures. It is a common problem in India mostly with the elderly and women after menopause, with more than 10 million people suffering from it.
A low calcium diet is one of the foremost causes of osteoporosis. In women after menopause, low estrogen levels increase the risk of bone loss rather than bone mineral replacement. Men with testosterone deficiency as at a greater risk compared to their counterparts. Bone loss and weakening of bones is caused by less Vitamin D, as vitamin D helps in absorbing and using the calcium in our body. A sedentary lifestyle, smoking, too much alcohol, malnutrition, high thyroid levels etc also are the leading causes of osteoporosis.
Treatments and Prevention of Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis can be treated medically as well as by adapting a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Exercise plays an important role in keeping us physically fit and strengthens our weak bones and prevents bone loss. At least for 5 days a week, for minimum 20-30 minutes any kind of physical activity like walking, running, jogging, aerobics, cardio etc should be done to improve health, balance and our posture as a preventive measure. Swimming can be chosen by those whose weight bearing joints are affected.
A healthy diet consisting of essential nutrients, vitamins, antacids, dietary supplements and calories in adequate amounts, restriction of fatty foods, sugar and high carbs diet should be adopted.
Calcium and vitamin D rich foods such as green vegetables, grains, soy products, cereals, fruits like oranges, lemon etc should be added to our regular diet.
Hormone replacement therapy is also an option for curing osteoporosis as it increases the estrogen and progesterone.
Osteoporosis is preventable with proper medication, balanced lifestyle and diet along with physical activity, which strengthens and protects our bone muscles and stops bone loss.