What Is Osteoporosis?
It is defined as a medical condition which is characterized by the loss of tissues making bones more brittle and fragile. Osteoporosis weakens the bones and increases the risks of bone fractures. Bones of the forearm, hip, and vertebrae in the spine are most commonly involved. Women are at more risk of getting Osteoporosis than man.
What Are The Symptoms Of Osteoporosis?
Some common symptoms of osteoporosis are:
- Back pain, caused by collapsed or fractured vertebra
- A stooped posture
- Loss of height with time
- A bone fracture that occurs easier than expected.
- Osteoporosis increases the risks of bone fractures. Sometimes, there are no visible symptoms until a bone fracture occurs. The weakness occurs to such an extent that minor injury or stress can break the bones. Loss of ability to perform the work and chronic pain occurs following a broken bone.
- Fractures at other sites such a hip, forearm or wrist may occur with a normal fall also.
What Are The Causes Of Osteoporosis?
The main cause of osteoporosis is lack of hormones mainly estrogens in women and androgens in men.
There are certain modifiable and non- modifiable risk factors which can lead to Osteoporosis.
Non- modifiable causes include-
- Hereditary factors: The person having a family history of osteoporosis can lead is more likely to suffer from this disease.
- Race: Osteoporosis can occur in people of all ethnic groups but European and Asian groups are more prone to osteoporosis.
- Hormonal changes: Changes in hormone also lead to osteoporosis. Estrogen deficiency in women following menopause reduces the mineral density of bones leading to osteoporosis. Same is the case when testosterone deficiency is there in men but it is less as compared to women.
Modifiable factors include:
- Deficiency of vitamin D: It is mainly seen in elderly people. Increase in parathyroid hormone also leads to vitamin D deficiency, thus reducing the bone density.
- Excess intake of alcohol: Increased consumption of alcohol increases the risks of bone fractures.
- Smoking: Smoking leads to decreased bone density by causing early menopause, weight loss and inhibition of osteoblasts. These all factors lead to osteoporosis.
- Malnutrition: Lack of multivitamins and minerals lowers the bone density and leads to osteoporosis.
- Use of medications: Certain medications such as proton pump inhibitors, if taken continuously for more than 2 years can lead to osteoporosis. The medicines used for treating breast cancer and prostate cancer change the hormone levels, thus leading to osteoporosis.
- Diseases: People suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, renal insufficiency, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes mellitus are at increased risk of suffering from osteoporosis.
What Are The Things One Should Do To Manage Osteoporosis?
- Eat a nutritious diet: Taking a healthy diet will help to complete the deficiency of nutrition’s in the body and will help to recover soon. One should take healthy diet from an early age only.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Excess weight or underweight can lead weakness of bones leading to osteoporosis.
- Get sufficient sunlight: Standing in the morning sun for around 10 minutes daily will help to get enough vitamin D which is essential for bone health.
- Exercise and practice Yoga: These will help to keep you active and healthy all day.
What Are The Things One Should Avoid To Manage Osteoporosis?
- Don’t smoke: This can lead to decrease in bone density.
- Don’t take alcohol: High intake of alcohol weakens the bones.
- Don’t perform high impact activities such jumping, running or jogging. This can cause fracture of already weak bones.
What Are The Best Foods For Osteoporosis?
- Low fat or skimmed milk, cheese and yogurt: These are rich sources of calcium which helps to strengthen the bones.
- Egg yolks, Salmon, mushrooms, and tuna: These are a rich source of vitamin D which helps in the absorption of calcium.
- Nuts, seeds, almonds, pistachios or sunflower seeds: These are the rich sources of calcium, magnesium, and protein which are essential for building strong and healthy bones
- Fortified whole grains: These are the good sources of vitamin D.
- Vegetables- Broccoli, cabbage, okra are rich in mineral and vitamins.
What Are The Worst Foods For Osteoporosis?
- Salt: Women of post-menopausal age lose more minerals if they take excess salt in their diet. Fast foods like burgers, pizza, hot dogs, tacos, and fries, processed foods including reduced-calorie frozen meals, processed meats like deli turkey, ham, and canned soups, vegetable juices, vegetables, baked products, including breakfast cereals and bread are all high in sodium content. Avoid all such items to keep your salt intake low.
- Soda and caffeine affect the bones directly.
What Are The Medicines For Osteoporosis?
What Are The Tips To Manage Osteoporosis?
Modification in the lifestyle can help in managing osteoporosis. Below are some tips to manage the modifiable factors to prevent osteoporosis:
- Avoid stress
- Stay active
- Avoid stress and depression