Bones in human body are living tissues formed of protein, collagen that provide a framework and mineral salt calcium phosphate that provide strength to the it. This superb combination of collagen and calcium gives bones strength plus flexibility both to bear the pressure of body. In our whole life, new bones replace old ones though this process is bit faster in children. Till we reach the age of 30bone mass and density is at its peak but after it, process of resorption is more than formation.
As a result of slow bone formation, there is reduction of bone mass, density with deterioration of bone tissue. Bones so become weak that increases the risk of fractures in hip, spine and wrist.Though both men and women are at risk but women after the menopause especially in the initial days.
Risk factors—There are two types of risk factors that are linked to poor bones and osteoporosis-
Non changeble risk factors—
> Gender – Women are at more risk than men due to menopause as loss of bone tissue and mass are more.
> Age is one factor as in old age bone becomes fragile and brittle so are at higher risk to osteoporosis.
> Size of body also matters as women with thin bones are at more risk of poor bones.
> White and Asian women have more chances of osteoporosis than African women so ones ethnic race matters.
> There are hereditary risks as kids with parents having problems of bones and osteoporosis have less bone mass so at higher risk.
Changeable risk factors—
> Reduced level of Estrogens in women and testosterone hormone in men can be treated by taking medicines to correct the hormonal imbalance.
> People having phobia of weight gain take diet food can lead to osteoporosis, but this can be controlled to a great extent.
> Low calcium and vitamin D diet risks the bone health so taking healthy diet rich in this nutrients can be done.
> Consuming medicines like glucocorticoids and anticonvulsants can reduce bone density so intake of these medicines can be reduced or stopped.
> Smoking cigarettes and consuming alcohol risks the bone to a great extent but this habit can be controlled to an extent.
Preventing osteoporosis —We can prevent osteoporosis by keeping in mind few tips—
1. Taking adequate calcium diet— Taking adequate calcium diet is the way to prevent osteoporosis. It is always better to take calcium rich diet instead of calcium tablets. One should take low fat dairy products, dark green leafy vegetables soya products and nuts. Calcium intake requirements change with age as old people need more calcium so it’s good to ask experts.
2. Taking Vitamin D— Vitamin D helps the bones to absorb calcium from food so taking Vitamin D rich foods like egg yolks,fish,liver.One can sit in sunshine in morning hours to take natural vitamin D,supplements should only be taken if the levels of this vitamin is very low. People above the age of 70 needs 800IU of vitamin D and below this age, need is of 600IU.
3. Maintaining a daily exercise routine— Bone like muscle is a living tissue so when a person maintains a daily exercise routine like jogging, brisk walking,strengthening and flexibility exercises, yoga and weight bearing excercises help to maintain the bone health so one can avoid osteoporosis.
4. Quit Smoking and Alcohol intake— This is must for men and women both because smoking and drinking is not good for bone health. It results in decreased bone mass and density that can lead to osteoporosis.
5. Avoid regular of certain medicines — There are many medicines that has to be taken for varied problems but their overuse can result in bone loss and osteoporosis. Medicines like glucocortocoids, antiseizure drugs, thyroid drugs and cancer drugs to name just a few .these medicine if cannot be avoided one must talk to expert doctor to reduce its dosage.
6. Regular health check-ups — One should keep in mind that above the age of 40 to go for regular bone density checks to be sure of bone health. Women must be very particular as after menopause they are at increased risk so they must have bone density tests done to take healthy diet. Supplements of any kind calcium and vitamin D should be taken if prescribed by an orthopaedic expert.
7. Last it easy take some time out of your busy routine to sit in the sunshine to take plenty of natural vitamin D for better absorption of calcium from food taken.