World Osteoporosis day is celebrated to spread awareness about osteoporosis and to
promote good bone health.
The theme for this year's World Osteoporosis Day is 'Love Your Bones, Protect your Health'.
‘Soak in Sunlight, Increase bone health’
leads to a loss in bone mass that increases the risk for fractures. One of the main factors for poor bone health is vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D Deficiency:
Vitamin D deficiency
is a common factor in urban areas and which is a prime cause for osteoporosis. In a country like India, where there is a large amount of sunlight, the lack of vitamin D in the body may sound contradictory but it is prevalent. The major cause for this deficiency is
- Poor Exposure to
Sunlight : Most people in urban cities wear clothes that cover their entire body or go out very rarely during the day. This results in poor vitamin synthesis by the body.
- Diet Low in Vitamin D: The diet consumed by people in the urban areas is poor in vitamin D and does not aid in supplementing the body with the necessary vitamin D. A recent study has shown that taking calcium supplements can lead to blockage in the heart while calcium from the diet does not lead to blockage in the heart, focusing on the need to include vitamin D rich products in the diet.
Vitamin D in the body is required for the uptake of calcium from milk and other dairy products. Another factor that can lead to osteoporosis due to insufficient nutrients in the diet is lactose intolerance.
Lactose intolerance was once considered a cause of worry for people living in Western countries, but research shows that 3 out of 4 people in India suffer from lactose intolerance.
Lactose intolerance is a condition in which the body does not have the enzyme lactase that is required to break down milk and milk products. This results in poor uptake of calcium from milk, where people need to look at alternative sources of calcium.
1 in 310 students in a study in Ludhiana was found to be gluten intolerant
, which affected their growth and lead to gastrointestinal problems. The alarming fact about gluten intolerance is that it triggers an autoimmune response that has been implicated in certain cases of osteoporosis.
Women post menopause are at an increased risk for osteoporosis due to hormonal changes in the body and the increased need for calcium in the body for healthy bones.
Osteoporosis is a silent condition and most people realize that they have osteoporosis only after they fracture
their bones. There are no major symptoms associated with the condition, except that it increases the chance of a bone fracture. An osteoporosis fracture occurs every 3 seconds in the world.
The Theme 'Love Your Bones- Protect Your Future' is aimed at encouraging the youth to follow the correct lifestyle that will promote healthy bones.
Following these 4 steps to good bone health will ensure that bones are strong.
Osteoporosis among Elderly:
- Eat a Diet Rich in Calcium: Eating a diet rich in calcium is essential for good bone health. Apart from milk, figs, oranges, broccoli and kale are good sources of vitamin D.
- Exercise with Weights: A good exercise routine is also essential for bone health.
- Avoid Smoking: Do not smoke as it can affect bone health.
- Avoid Alcohol: Alcohol consumption should also be avoided or should be consumed in moderation.
While osteoporosis can occur at any age, it usually is found more commonly among senior citizens. The poor bone health leads to increased propensity for fractures.
- One in five people in the U.S die due to hip fracture.
- Adults who live alone are forced to remain in the hospital for a year after a hip fracture and resultant surgery.
Osteoporosis can be detected using imaging techniques that provide an approximate estimate about the state of bone health. It is not possible to accurately measure bone health when the individual is alive. Understanding the condition of the bones will aid in preventing fractures as they can be painful for the individual, irrespective of the age.
- Osteoporosis - Facts and Statistics - (https://www.iofbonehealth.org/facts-statistics)
- Osteoporosis in Indians - (http://icmr.nic.in/ijmr/2008/march/0308.pdf)
- Healthy Living for Strong Bones - (https://nos.org.uk/for-people-and-families/healthy-living-and-risk/)
- Bone Health and Osteoporosis - What Does it Mean? - (http://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/bone/SGR/surgeon_generals_report.asp)