Our bones constitute an important part of our body as they carry our weight and also give shape to our body. Our bones are made up of calcium, zinc ,phosphorus, protein and some other minerals. Due to chemical changes triggered by age and some other factors our bone tends to become weak.
Osteoporosis is one of such condition, osteoporosis literally mean porous bones and is a disease which make bones weak & susceptible to fracture. In this condition the density and weight of the bones are reduced due to lack of some mineral components and protein. After joint problem, this is second most common problem which affect the movability of the person.
Osteoporosis is like slow poisoning which shows its effect after a long time. There are no early symptoms. With time osteoporosis weakens backbone, knee, elbow and makes them porous, which in turn make them susceptible to fracture. This can happen to anyone and at any age, but people older than 60 years are more susceptible. There can be various contributing factors to osteoporosis some of them are mentioned below–
In women for example, after menopause, osteoporosis is very common problem. The bones become weak, and a small mishap can cause a fracture.
In men osteoporosis is common after the age of 60 years. As one grows older, the chemical composition of the bones changes, usually there is a lack of calcium and other minerals which make the bones weak.
Consumption of alcohol is often attributed as a contributing factor in osteoporosis.
Lack of vitamin D particularly in Asian countries is also found to be associated with osteoporosis, especially in women. Women in Asian countries mostly live indoor and are devoid of sunlight. These days even the young generation spend most of their daytime in air conditioned offices.Sunlight is a good source of Vitamin D which is required for bone development. Lack of Vitamin D makes the bones weak.
Mild vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased Parathyroid hormone production. Parathyroid hormone(PTH) increases bone resorption, leading to bone loss.
Nutrition has an important and complex role in maintaining good bone composition. Identified risk factors include low dietary calcium and/or phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, boron, iron, fluoride, copper and vitamins A, K & E . In underdeveloped countries lack of nutrition often contributes to osteoporosis at an early age.
Excess sodium is also a risk factor. People who take too much of salt are at risk of having osteoporosis .
Heredity has also been found to have a direct relation . Parents having fragile bone structure pass it on to their children.
As per a recent study regular exercise and physical activity can help avoid or delay osteoporosis. People who do not exercise or are not physically active, have twice the chances of having osteoporosis than an active person. Exercise and physical movement of the body help in good blood circulation and can make the bones stronger.
It is important to look for early symptoms such as getting a fracture after a minor accident ( in situations where a normal person will not get any ant fracture, example – falling from a stool ) or a weak tooth, continuous pain in bones or difficulty in walking straight.
With early detection it is possible to avoid complication and pain.
Diet plays a very important role in osteoporosis. Having milk is a good option. Eat food rich in calcium and zinc. Taking Vitamin D supplements and/or walking in the sun for 20 minutes is recommended. Sunlight on our skin generates Vitamin D in our body & is a completely natural source.