World Osteoporosis Day: Delay bone loss with timely prevention
Osteoporosis, or the weakening of bones in layman terms, is a widely prevalent health concern. Fractures caused by the condition can affect mobility and everyday chores. And so, the earlier you start taking care of your bone health, the better your overall health will be in your later years.
Worldwide, one in three women and one in five men aged 50 years and over, will suffer a osteoporotic fracture, according to the Intentional Osteoporosis Foundation.
What is osteoporosis?
When our bones become thin and porous, they are more likely to break easily due to fractures. These fractures often go unnoticed even when they are caused by osteoporosis, which does not show major symptoms until things go bad, explains Dr GV Reddy, Senior Consultant – Orthopedics, Joint Replacement and Arthroscopy, Manipal Hospitals, Vijayawada.
Basic symptoms that indicate the onset of osteoporosis
Keep an eye out for these symptoms, and detect the onset of the condition in time. Then consult a doctor without delay, suggests Dr Reddy.
- Back pain is the most common symptom. This is usually caused by a collapsed vertebra
- Past fractures can often lead to osteoporosis, as the bones are weak and it takes longer to heal
- Right posture always plays an essential role in a healthy spine and the rest of the bones too.
- The bones which are easily breakable are prone to be damaged easily, acting as a root cause for osteoporosis.
How to keep osteoporosis at bay?
Osteoporosis is a serious condition, but you can adopt certain measures to decrease your risk of suffering from it, and reduce your chance of being a victim of fractures.
Here’s what Dr Gaurav Rathore, Director, Department of Orthopaedics & Joint Replacement, Jaypee Hospital (Noida), suggests for protection and strengthening of your bones:
- Eliminate unhealthy habits like drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, smoking and consumption of unhealthy food.
- Get the vitamin D and calcium intake that your bones require each day
- You should try to get all the necessary nutrients that you require through your diet. However, supplementation might be suggested
- Engage in regular weight-bearing exercises
- Consult your doctor regarding bone health and whether you require an examination for bone density
- Use osteoporosis medications should you need it
Mental health concerns around osteoporosis
- Osteoporosis is a silent ailment that people do not pay attention to, till a fracture shows up, reminds Dr Reddy. And this not just affects the person physically, but impacts the mind too.
Support groups or self-help groups help in coping with and managing the disease emotionally.
Serious mental complications like depression and anxiety are observed among patients who reach an adverse stage of osteoporosis where it becomes irreversible. These are sensitive times when one needs to be careful. A positive ambience along with support from loved ones can go a long way.