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Osteoporosis: Are you increasing your risk with THIS everyday habit?

Your bone health is really crucial and your diet has a lot to do with it! Here’s how an eating disorder can cause osteoporosis.
A woman who needs to take bone density test
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Pavithra Published: 16 Nov 2022, 02:15 pm IST
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Osteoporosis is a bone disease that happens due to a decrease in bone mineral density and bone mass. This leads to changes in the quality and structure of the bone; decreases bone strength, and increases the risk of fractures. It is also referred to as a silent disease because nobody can feel the bones getting weaker until anything major like a fracture, back pain, or injury happen. There are various reasons that can cause osteoporosis. However, eating disorder is one of the significant reason.

What is an eating disorder?

Eating disorders are behavioral conditions that can occur due to disturbances in eating habits. It can affect a person’s physical, psychological, and social functions for a long time. There are various types of eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, pica, and rumination disorder. As eating disorders are psychological problems, an individual does not realize how much he is destroying his own self. Thus, it gradually takes him to the path of osteoporosis.

How can osteoporosis happen due to eating disorders?

Osteoporosis is one of the most common diseases that happen due to eating disorders. Lack of calcium and vitamin D intake, restricting food intake, alcohol, carbonated and soft drinks lead to osteoporosis. When an individual gets affected by eating disorders, he or she slowly restricts from eating healthy food. Due to this reason, the person may start lacking calcium and vitamin D from the body. This leads to a worsening of the disease.

causes of osteoporosis
Don’t ignore pain in your bones. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Read the various symptoms of osteoporosis

In the early stage of the disease, there will be no symptoms. However, people start realizing this after a few days through the symptoms of osteoporosis, which include:

  • Lower back pain, spine pain, compression fractures, height loss over a time in centimeters.
  • Dental issues, including loose teeth, receding gums, and ill-fitting or loose dentures.
  • A stooped posture or a dowager’s hump may develop in later stages.

Treatment for osteoporosis:

Prevention is always a better-balanced diet, which includes foods rich in calcium, phosphorous, and vitamin D.

1. Eat foods rich in vitamin D

Vitamin D is required for bone growth and calcium metabolism. It plays an important role in the absorption of dietary calcium from the intestine and its deposition in bones. Vitamin D adequacy during adolescence helps to reduce the risk of osteoporosis later in life, as vitamin D deficiency and low calcium intake are important risk factors for osteoporosis. The recommended levels of vitamin D are 2000 IU/day (400 IU = 10μg).

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causes of osteoporosis
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2. Consume enough calcium-rich foods

Calcium is a major dietary mineral with a lot of implications for health. Calcium is required for the growth and prolongation of strong teeth, and bones, nerve signaling, muscle contraction, and secretion of a few hormones and enzymes. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for calcium is 1000mg/day.

Also read: Why are women more prone to osteoporosis during menopause? The answer lies right here!

3. Exercising

Muscle strengthening exercises such as walking, jogging, yoga, aerobics, climbing stairs, and using free weights and elastic bands for 15 or 30 minutes daily, depending on age and health condition. This is the most helpful way of building bone strength.

4. Healthy eating habits

Make sure the diet includes fresh fruits and lots of green leafy vegetables, dairy products, and nuts – like almonds, walnuts, gingelly seeds, poppy seeds, pulses and legumes, milk, and milk products.

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causes of osteoporosis
Eat the right and healthy foods! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Other things to keep in mind to manage osteoporosis:

  • Lifestyle changes like regular physical activity and an exercise routine
  • Changing diet patterns, including calcium and vitamin D-rich foods
  • Taking calcium and vitamin D supplementation
  • Medication for severe pain in consultation with a doctor.

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About the Author

Pavithra, Chief Dietician, Manipal Hospital Yeshwanthpur. ...Read More

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