Osteoporosis can affect anyone in a way that is quiet yet dangerous. In this blog post, you will understand osteoporosis and how you can prevent it.
We would have all had this experience when we were young: a daily persuasion from our mothers to drink milk and eat all those colourful veggies on our plates. If you were amongst the few who did obey, you might have an edge over those who did not. Consider yourself lucky; because osteoporosis along with other bone-related conditions and diseases are no joke. Osteoporosis, often known as the silent killer, is a disease that causes a decrease in bone strength. The bones in your body can become so fragile that even a bump or a mild blow will suffice to give you a horrible fracture. This fatal disease is often prevalent in elderly people and women. The bone mass goes down to a level where bones cannot sustain the daily pressure that they have been so used to taking in.
Through years of research and diagnosis, there are a few key factors that are responsible for the occurrence of Osteoporosis. They are:
- Absence or lack of physical activity
- Deficiency in calcium and vitamin D
- Smoking cigarettes
- Excessive consumption of alcoholic drinks
- Low body weight
- History of fracture and osteoporosis
These are just a few factors to begin with. Osteoporosis can break down your bones in a way that might not always present any symptoms at the early stages. In the later stages, patients complain of back pain, poor posture, easily fractured bones and stunted height over a period of time. It is normally diagnosed first through X-rays and then a confirmation with bone density tests. Osteoporosis very aptly fits to the phrase ‘Damage done’; it cannot be cured. However, there is medication available to keep it in check.
How do I prevent it?
Prevention is an ongoing process. Bone care is stretched across nutrition, physical activity and lifestyle. In order to establish a strong safety net against osteoporosis, you should make necessary changes in these three fronts as soon as possible.
- Nutrition: A simple rule to follow while planning your meal is the inclusion of as many colours on your plate as possible. Bones need sufficient amount of Calcium and Vitamin D to maintain their rigidity. An adult should have an intake of at least 700mg per day. Women who are in their postmenopausal phase need as much as 1200mg per day. You can reach your daily dose of calcium by eating green leafy vegetables, yoghurt, milk-based foods, tofu etc. Ask your doctor for calcium supplements if you need help with achieving the recommended intake. To enable your body to absorb calcium, have vitamin-D rich foods such as eggs with yolk, salmon, cod liver oil and tuna. Some sun exposure can also provide you with Vitamin-D.
- Physical activity: Every adult must have a minimum of 20 minutes of physical activity in the form of exercise each day. It can be fast walking, aerobics, strength training, cycling etc. Try to incorporate weight resistance exercises into your workouts as it is said to prevent osteoporosis.
- Lifestyle: Small changes in your daily habits can go a long way. Limiting your caffeine consumption, quitting smoking and keep a tab on the number of alcoholic drinks you have. Finally, learn to deal with your stress. Make time for therapeutic activities like yoga, artistic sessions, gardening etc. Stress can take a toll on your overall bone health over the years.
We all yearn to age gracefully and comfortably. But, to be that way in the future, you have to take action NOW. Start taking care of your bones from today, the older you will thank you one day!