Taking care of bones is never too early or too late. Small health habits in everyday life strengthen your bones naturally and can protect you against diseases like osteoporosis. Bones are the support system of the body that carries the entire weight. It also gives shape, protects organs, and together helps in freedom of movement in the body.
Bones are made up of a protein called collagen, with a mineral called calcium phosphate, and are responsible for making bones hard and strong. Calcium and minerals are essential components of the bones that start decreasing with age. Statistically, women are more prone to bone-related diseases compared to men. So, as women, you need to take better care of the bones regardless of age to avoid the problems of tomorrow.
What is osteoporosis? Know all about this condition
Osteoporosis is a bone-related disorder that harms the structure of the bones. The condition is the cause of lower bone mineral density (BMD) that makes the bones fragile and increases the chances of fractures. It is a silent disease that can cause complexities if you ignore the early symptoms.
Bone diseases can happen to anyone at any age. In women, the condition is common after menopause known as postmenopausal osteoporosis.
Symptoms of osteoporosis
Some of the signs that may increase the susceptibility of developing osteoporosis include
- Fractures in bones with a minor injury, bones become fragile
- Discomfort while walking, climbing stairs, bending, and even while coughing
- Pain especially, in the lower body areas that affect the spine curve and breathing problems
- One may also feel tender pain, deformity, arthritis, and difficulties in performing daily life activities
- Other symptoms may also include joint aches, pain or weakness in muscles, and disturbance in balancing the body
Causes of osteoporosis
Several reasons may result in damaged bones or fractures. The condition can be the cause of the lack of calcium, vitamin D, estrogen, or poor diet, which can lead to the risk of fractures. It is important to know that the general cause of osteoporosis is due to secondary factors. Some of the common causes are-
- Lack of physical activities
- Body size
- Unhealthy lifestyle
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Endocrine diseases
- Liver disease
- HIV infection
Tips to strengthen bones against osteoporosis
There are two different ways in which women can treat osteoporosis:
1. Treating without medication: Women without any secondary cause of bone loss and only have low BMD
2. Treating with medication: Women with a family history of bone loss, or other secondary causes along with low BMD
It is essential to look for the cause systematically through medical tests and other necessary examinations before reaching any conclusion.
Here are few simple ways to strengthen bones:
1. Calcium: Calcium-rich diet like milk, dairy products, yogurt, and other calcium-rich food.
2. Vitamins and Nutrients: Deficiencies related to vitamin D, K, magnesium reduce the risk of fractures and improve muscle strength.
3. Lifestyle: Healthy habits, diet, and exercises in daily routine help increase BMD, improve body balance and improve muscles power.
4. Avoid the excessive consumption of alcohol and quit smoking.
5. Consult a doctor before starting the diet that includes wheat, barley, rye, and other gluten food.
(Dr Prince Gupta is a Consultant- Orthopaedics & Joint Replacement Surgery at Columbia Asia Hospital, Palam Vihar, Gurgaon)
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