How to prevent ‘osteoporosis’?

Every bone in the body is used to renew itself at regular intervals. This process happens very rapidly in youth. As we age, this speed slows down. Generally, the formation of new cells slows down after the age of 35. New cells may not form where old cells die. Then the normal density of the bone (Bone mass) will decrease first. This condition is called ‘osteopenia’. After the age of 50, the density of bone decreases further, causing small cavities in it and losing its strength. Then we will not be able to stand continuously and will not be able to walk very far.

There is also a high chance that the bone will fracture over time. This is called ‘Osteoporosis’. To make it easier to understand, let’s say this: It’s a disease that weakens the bones!

There is no known history of this disease. What is the cause of the new occurrence now? – Current lifestyles such as working in air-conditioned offices, living in unheated apartment buildings, reduced physical activity, lack of exercise, reduced protein and nutrition due to Western diets are now increasing the incidence of this disease. People who do not eat the necessary nutritious foods for a long time will become deficient in calcium and vitamin D. Both of these are fundamental to bone strength and stiffness. When these nutrients decrease, they get ‘osteoporosis’ over time. It is also caused by overactivity of adrenal hormone and parathyroid hormone.

Are there other reasons besides these? – Naturally in old age, testosterone hormone decreases in men, estrogen hormone decreases in women due to menopause, smoking, alcohol consumption, obesity, thyroid problem, drug addiction etc. It also comes down to heredity.

Who is more likely to get this disease? – Women who have stopped menstruating, those who work in the sun, the elderly, those who drink alcohol, those who smoke, those who have digestive disorders, those who have joint wear and tear, and those who have chronic kidney disease are more likely to get this disease.

What problems does this disease cause? – Often the patient is unaware of the presence of this disease. Only some people have persistent lower back and neck pain. Touching those places will increase the pain. Many people have the disease hidden inside the body for years, only to find out when they eventually break a bone. The severity of this disease is that a bone fracture occurs without falling down, without any blow to the body, and even a slight blow causes a severe fracture. In general, the pelvis, spine and wrist are the most common fracture sites in this disease.

How to diagnose this disease? – There are many tests like thyroid test, calcium and vitamin ‘D’ measurement. However, the ‘Dexa Scan’ test is important. People above the age of forty should get this done once in 2 years. This is a test that measures bone mineral density (BMD). Bone density can tell before a fracture occurs. Treatment can be provided to those who need it.

What is the treatment for this? – Bones that have lost strength after this disease cannot be regenerated. Other bones can be strengthened by eating foods rich in calcium and vitamin D or taking pills. Apart from these, recently modern pills and injections have come for this disease. You can use them too.

Which foods are high in calcium? – Milk, curd, butter, ghee, cheese are high in calcium. Besides, chickpeas, chickpeas, soybeans, gram, fish, shrimp, crab, eggs, mutton, beetroot, chickpeas, greens, peas, cauliflower, onions, amaranth, fenugreek, potatoes, yams, cassava, spinach, white onion, Radishes, cabbage, lemons, grapes, guavas, almonds, cashews, and pistachios also contain calcium. If you increase these food items, the body will get the calcium it needs.

What is the link between ‘osteoporosis’ and Vitamin-D? – We said that calcium deficiency causes ‘bone weakness’. No matter how much we eat calcium-rich foods, vitamin D is necessary for calcium to enter the bones. It is less common in common food items. Most available in the sun. In today’s lifestyle working in the sun and going to the sun has decreased. Due to this the availability of this vitamin is also reduced. Hence, it contributes to ‘osteoporosis’.

What to do to get Vitamin-D? – By spending half an hour in the sunlight every day, you can get Vitamin D naturally. Or you can get it in food products like milk, eggs, fish, liver. Vitamin ‘D’ tablets are also available. You can eat them as per the doctor’s advice.

Can ‘osteoporosis’ be prevented? – Exercise daily from a young age. Brisk walking, running, cycling, swimming, playing basketball, skipping are some of the best exercises. Doing yoga is also good.

At least half an hour should be exposed to the sun every day. Do not smoke. Do not drink alcohol. Foods rich in protein, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium should be consumed from an early age. If people above 50 years of age do not have enough calcium, calcium tablets can be taken as per doctor’s advice. Avoid taking steroid pills unnecessarily.

As it affects the elderly more, are there any precautions for them? – Elderly people can walk with the help of a ‘walker’ to avoid falling down. It is important that the bathroom/toilet floors are not slippery and have handrails to grip when using them, even when climbing stairs. Also, use a night light in the bedroom to avoid confusion. Avoid sedating pills.

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