Osteoporosis and the importance of excercise

I had heard this frightening terminology from my father while referring to the case of a friend. It was intimidating to me and I skipped the rest of the discussion. When I saw the television ads on the importance of calcium and Vitamin D supplements for women over 30 I could in no way relate it to Osteoporosis. By nature, I consider all such advertisements to be hyper boles and believe that in real life man is not so fragile and vulnerable.

Osteoporosis is a common bone disease in which your bones become thin, fragile and brittle and are more likely to break. Osteoporosis is not very picky when it comes to bones. It can affect any bone even when stressed mildly. This is a problem that affects millions of old people, especially older women. In your old age, you are more susceptible to injuries and fractures. It is highly seen in Asians and Europeans

This disease is silent in nature and the early stages show no pain or symptoms. After a while symptoms may show up.

Back pain
Loss of height and gradual stooping
Fractures of areas like hips, vertebrae, wrists etc.

Frequent fractures affect your daily life activities like work, travel and so on. Spine fractures can be recurrent. Fractures also demand bed rest for a long duration in many patients. In such people, it may also lead to pneumonia or even blood clots in the veins of the leg due to bed rest.

Osteoporosis affects you when the density of your bone (calcium and other minerals) is less. This renders them weak and prone to fractures. Osteoporosis occurs when the bones are weakened by thyroid hormones. It is also more common in women after menopause, that is when there is a low estrogen level. Estrogen are hormones produced by the ovaries which play a vital role in preventing bone loss. Osteoporosis can occur if you have

A delicate bone structure
A family history
Lack of physical activity
A habit of smoking or drinking

The best way to prevent Osteoporosis is stay fit and cultivate good health habits. Having a Calcium and Vitamin D-rich diet. This will help to strengthen the bones. It is easy to get these two, as they are present in dairy products like milk, green vegetables, fish and eggs. You can also have calcium tablets and Vitamin supplements. In addition to this, do regular exercise. Other than walking or swimming you can also do weight lifting exercises or weight bearing activities. Above all, be careful and more health conscious after passing the age of 35.

-Aparna K V

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