World Osteoporosis Day (WOD) is celebrated by thousands of people across the globe on October 20. On this day a year-long campaign is launched to increase global awareness of the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of osteoporosis and metabolic bone disease. WOD involves campaigns by national osteoporosis patient societies from all parts of the world with activities in more than 95 countries and is organized by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF).
The WOD slogan for the year 2014 is 'Real men build their strength from within'. The campaign this year would focus on the importance of good bone health for men. The goal is to make men as strong on the inside as they appear on the outside. Another key aim of the campaign is to clear the misconception that osteoporosis primarily affects women and highlight on the lesser-known issue of bone thinning problem in men.
AdvertisementResearch indicates that at least one in five men over the age of 50 will suffer a fracture due to osteoporosis. It is an interesting fact that one-third of all the hip fractures actually occur in men and nearly 37 percent of men actually die in the first year after suffering from a fracture. It has been seen that men typically experience fractures at an older age in comparison with women and hence morbidity and mortality rate is higher in them.
You get your eyesight, teeth and cholesterol checked on a regular basis because your goal is to be healthy and fit. But did you know that just like other body parts, your spine too goes through a natural degeneration process as you age. The neck pain, lower back pain, shoulder stiffness etc are all part of ageing of your spine. October 16th marks the day when people from all over the world come together every year to raise awareness on World Spine Day (WSD) as part of the Bone and Joint Decade's Action Week. The WSD theme for the year 2014 is "Straighten Up and Move" which focuses on the importance of good spinal health, healthy spinal posture and activity. The intent of WSD is to bring people from different walks of life such as patients, health providers, health care organizations, government to help spread awareness of spinal degeneration and ease this global burden.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a silent and invisible disease of the bones with no symptoms whatsoever. Your bone is a living tissue which is constantly undergoing 'remodelling' wherein the old bone is removed from the skeleton and new bone is added. Your bone loses density or mass as you age and as they become less dense, they also become weaker and are more likely to break even from a minor fall if the condition is severe. No matter what the condition of your bones, you should be aware that there are things to help them make stronger and reverse the condition.
Diagnosis of Osteoporosis in Men
Osteoporosis can be effectively treated if it is diagnosed before significant bone loss has occurred. Some of the commonly used methods to diagnose osteoporosis are complete medical history, x-rays, blood and urine tests and Bone Mineral Density (BMD) test. An example of BMD is DXA (dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry)
For women, a BMD is often recommended at midlife or when hormonal changes occur to watch for signs of bone loss. However, in men, the truth is that the diagnosis of osteoporosis is made only when a fracture occurs or a man complains of back pain and sees his doctor. Hence it is imperative for men to inform their doctors about any loss of height or change in posture, a fracture, sudden back pain or any other risk factors for developing osteoporosis.
Risk Factors for Osteoporosis in Men
• Family or parental history
• Regular or frequent use of certain medications such as glucocorticoids
• Chronic kidney, lung or gastrointestinal disease
• Low levels of testosterone hormone
• Autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis
• Sedentary lifestyle leading to lack of physical exercise and immobility
• Smoking, excessive alcohol intake
• Improper diet with inadequate intake of calcium and vitamin D
Tips for Treating Osteoporosis in Men:
Apart from medication options such as biphosphonates, testosterone therapy or parathyroid hormone therapy, the following tips are recommended for treating osteoporosis:
• Eat a healthy, balanced diet and include plenty of calcium-rich food in your daily diet such as breads, cereals, fruits and vegetables, milk, dairy products, fish, figs and other foods which are fortified with calcium. An average adult needs about 1000mg of calcium per day.
• Increase your vitamin D intake by including fish such as salmon, mackerel; liver, eggs, margarine. A brisk walk under the morning sun will not only keep you healthy and fit but will also boost your skin's production of vitamin D. Ask your doctor about taking vitamin D and calcium supplements.
• Reduce the consumption of alcohol.
• Never give up exercise if you have osteoporosis, but make sure to include strength training and brisk walking in your daily schedule under the supervision of your doctor. There is no genuine excuse to not exercise; if you have time to watch TV and surf the net! Be aware that certain activities such as jumping, running and twisting can be hazardous to weaker bones, particularly if you have had a fracture.
Build your bone vitality and stop your bone thieves from ruining your life. When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use and when diet is right, medicine is of no need! So strengthen your bones by eating foods rich in calcium and vitamin. IOF hopes you all would take part in this year's campaign and make an important contribution to global osteoporosis awareness.
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