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National Bone and Joint Day: Why Indian women need extra TLC for bone health

Updated on:4 August 2021, 11:16am IST
Indian women happen to be more susceptible to bone health issues, and so it is important to take care of it from the beginning. But don't worry if you haven't! On National Bone and Joint Day, here are some ways in which you can still give your bones some love.
Dr RS Vashishta
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national bone and joint health
Ensure that you consume ample calcium and iron in your diet to keep your bone health in check. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Bones play multiple roles in our body — providing structure, protecting organs, anchoring muscles and storing calcium. While it is important to build strong and healthy bones during childhood and adolescence, it is important to take care of your bones during adulthood as well.

Women especially, after the age of 30 years tend to start losing calcium from their bones. Their daily diet may not sufficiently fulfill their requirement. But it happens to be that Indian women are at a higher risk of bone health issues, and therefore need to pay special attention to keeping them healthy in order to lead an active life.

On the occasion of Bone and Joint Day, observed on August 4, here are some interesting facts on why women need to be extra careful about their bone health:

Why focus on bone health?

1. Higher fracture risk due to low bone strength, small bones and smaller body type: When compared to women in the West, Indian women have lower bone mass or bone strength. Also, women who have smaller and thinner bones have higher risk of osteoporosis-related fractures.

cognitive decline
Stay active to keep your bone health in check. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Early menopause in Indian women can weaken their bones early and fast: Women get their monthly period cycle due to the activity of the hormone estrogen. This hormone is very important for bone growth and strength. When the levels of this hormone declines, women get menopause. Indian women tend to experience menopause earlier compared to Western women. This causes early and rapid loss of bone strength in Indian women.

3: Indian women are less likely to consume foods that provide nutrients for strong bones: Compared to men, Indian women are less likely to consume calcium-rich foods such as milk and curd regularly. Additionally, women are more likely to abstain from consuming meat, fish and eggs than men, while these are the foods provide nutrients for strong bones.

4: Inadequate information about bone health among Indian women: Studies have shown that there is a general lack of awareness regarding bone health among Indian women. And this lack of condition understanding restricts them in taking necessary action.

calcium-rich foods
From strengthening bones and teeth to preventing heart conditions, calcium is the magic mineral that we need in our diet. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

But here’s the good news – it’s never too late to take care of your bones. You can still take care of them with exercise, diet and proper supplementation. Doing weight-bearing exercises, consuming a well-balanced diet with calcium and vitamin D, and limiting alcohol and smoking can help prevent or slow down the chances of developing bone issues.

Here’s what you can do:

1. Since your daily diet might not fulfill your calcium needs, opt for calcium supplementation and one that comes with Vitamin D. Most of them are big in size and needs to be swallowed with water.

2. Often, consumers complain about the difficulty in swallowing calcium tablets. However, there are brands in the market which come in chewable tablet format. These tablets are good to taste and do not need to be swallowed.

Dr RS Vashishta Dr RS Vashishta

He is a well-known Orthopedic Doctor in Delhi. He has had many happy patients in his 36 years of journey as an Orthopedic Doctor. He has done MS - Orthopaedics, MBBS . He is currently leading his own practise at Vashishta Hospital For Orthopaedics in Malviya Nagar, Delhi.