Osteoporosis is a medical condition of the bones. Stressed and unhealthy lifestyle and improper diet has increased the prevalence of the disease. More common in women than men, the disease is a rising concern in the medical community. This, however, is preventable to a certain degree.
Let us understand what osteoporosis is, its causes and symptoms and how you can prevent it.
What is Osteoporosis
Literally meaning porous bones (Latin for osteo = bones and porosis = porous), the condition is associated with brittle bones that grow weaker and thinner. Medically speaking, osteoporosis is a condition when the body either loses too much bone or makes too little bone.
Due to the condition. the person starts losing mass and density of the bones, leading to thin and weak bones. The weakened bones easily break due to fall. In severe cases, the bones may even break due to minor bumps. The condition also causes delayed healing of fractures.
Osteoporosis – Causes
There are a number of things that are associated with osteoporosis. Acute Vitamin D or calcium deficiency, medical conditions like hyperthyroidism, excessive alcohol intake, smoking, age, menopause in women are all associated with the disease.
Physical inactivity and poor nutrition as well as low body weight are also some of the causes. The disease is also known to be genetic and chances of you contracting the disease if someone in your family had it, is higher.
The disease does not have any early markers. Many people come to know about their condition only after a sudden fracture. However, people, especially females, who have a history of the disease must keep a lookout and maintain a healthier lifestyle to mitigate the risk factor. Some of the early signs may include
- Receding gums
- Weak and brittle nails
- Weakened grip strength
- Unexplained back and neck pains
As per the International Osteoporosis Foundation, one in every 6 females above 60 suffer from the disease.
How to prevent osteoporosis
Osteoporosis may be prevented by following a healthy lifestyle. If you are already suffering from the disease, the doctor would prescribe you medicines and even suggest exercises. People suffering from the disease must follow the doctors advice carefully.
As for those who are a higher risk (which includes almost all women), a healthy and active lifestyle and balanced diet is the key. Ensure that you have a balanced diet which includes adequate quantities of protein, magnesium as well as Vitamin K and zinc other than the obvious Vitamin D and Calcium.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.