Not only lack of calcium leads to Osteoporosis
A study confirms that osteoporosis is a disease that almost 50% of Indian women are suffering from. Although irrespective of gender it is highly a major concern it largely affects more women than men because of diverse reasons. Osteoporosis is basically a condition of fragile bones which makes them more susceptible to fractures. It deeply affects one’s entire quality of life as minor falls can cause serious fractures and multiple visits to the hospital. In serious cases, patients are not even allowed to walk fast or kept bedridden. Although it is associated with calcium deficiency and aging factors there are other diverse reasons causing such conditions.
Osteoporosis occurs when bone density decreases they become porous. Even mild stress can cause a fracture. Such fractures are called osteoporotic fractures. Apart from losing bone density due to aging and calcium deficiency hormonal changes, Vitamin D deficiency, and menopause also cause osteoporosis. It can present in initial symptoms like receding gums, unnecessary pain in joints and bones, although they may be symptoms of other health conditions as well severe osteoporosis can represent in osteoporotic fracture.
Vitamin D deficiency and osteoporosis:-
As far as skeletal health is concerned generally only calcium intake is prioritized while the truth is there are some other nutrients that are also highly needed in this regard. Vitamin D helps in the proper absorption of calcium. Now a study confirms that around 70 to 90 percent of the Indian population is Vitamin D deficient, which is a major concern especially in urban societies where sun exposure cannot be ensured due to congested buildings and other several reasons. Apart from other diseases, a lower intake of Vitamin D can potentially cause osteoporosis.
Women and osteoporosis:-
Considering the question of why women are considered to be more prone to osteoporosis, the answer comes with biological and social reasons. Women who have reached or reaching menopause should take extra care of themselves as it may lead to diverse health conditions including osteoporosis. Menopause develops certain hormonal changes which can create fatigue and weakness and other deficiencies if not taken proper care of. Also, this is a harsh reality of some sections of our society that women’s health quotient is not prioritized and they are deprived of proper nutrition and healthcare. Hence this is the time when we should prioritize women’s nutrition also. They should also ensure proper calcium; protein and other nutrients intake lead a healthy lifestyle.
Treatment of Osteoporosis:-
The treatment of osteoporosis can include certain medications to therapies, some patients may need hospital stay in case of severe osteoporotic fracture. Women who have developed osteoporosis due to menopause can be given hormone therapy. A test called DEXA can be done to check the bone density and then the direction of treatment is decided as per the case.
Although medication can help as the saying goes “it’s better to prepare and “prevent than to repair and repent” there are some daily habits that can prevent one from catching this disease:-
- Merely taking a glass of milk regularly will not serve the purpose. Ensure all nutrients’ intake for good skeletal health. As mentioned earlier all nutrients and overall well-being is necessary for good bone health. Add more green vegetables, seasonal fruits to your daily diet.
- Ensure daily sun exposure at least 15 to 20 minutes. A good intake of Vitamin D is necessary for skeletal health.
- Never ignore any severe pain in any part of the body. This may be a symptom of upcoming risk. Take the doctor’s suggestion and follow the advice.
- Exercise daily. Make a routine of at least 20 minutes of exercise daily. Physical activities are a must for bone health. Yoga, dance, etc can ensure a good set of exercises. Ask you’re concerned doctor for suggestions in regard to such physical activity routine if already suffering from any disease.
- Avoid a sedentary lifestyle. Especially in a pandemic when staying more and more at home is necessary a major section of the society is on work from home. Sitting at one place for several hours, binge eating, have also emerged as a major concern. Avoid sitting in one position for several hours. Keep taking breaks between 1 to 2 hours and stretch mildly. Avoid fast food and don’t carry your laptops and other gadgets to the bed, use a table and chair instead and keep your body posture right.
Dr. Monu Singh, Senior Consultant – Orthopaedics & Joint Replacement, Dharamshila Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, Delhi