Bones are made up of a structural element known as hydroxyapatite and a protein called collagen where hydroxyapatite tends to consist of small crystals of calcium and phosphorus and helps with the stiffness of the bone whereas collagen is a protein molecule that binds the hydroxyapatite crystals together and generates tensile strength in the bone. However, one’s bone health tends to get affected due to various health issues and one of them is osteoporosis.
What is osteoporosis?
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Nitish Arora, Trauma, Limb Reconstruction, Deformity Correction and Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon at Medicover Hospitals in Navi Mumbai, explained, “It is a skeletal condition that affects both these components of a bone in terms of decreased quality along with quantity. This weakens the bone and makes them prone to fracture even with minor falls. Did you know? Osteoporosis is a silent disease until complicated by a fracture in the elderly.”
He added, “The most common sites of fracture include hip, wrist, and spine fractures. It is one of the common problems that one can encounter and interferes with one’s ability to carry out daily activities with ease. However, there is good news! It is possible to prevent this problem by adhering to a healthy lifestyle.”
Some vital tips to keep osteoporosis away
Dr Nitish Arora suggested the following preventive measures for osteoporosis:
1. Exercise – Are you aware? Regular and adequate exercise will help to strengthen the bones and muscles. It will be imperative for you to opt for weight training. Doing so can increase muscle mass and make your bones stronger. Try to exercise for at least 5 days a week for 40 minutes and you will feel good. Not only this, you can walk, cycle, do yoga, run, swim, and even jog. Strength training will go a long way in helping you to provide relief from pain and inflammation. Try to also do stretches for the back and maintain correct posture. Furthermore, the gait must be maintained throughout the lifespan to prevent fracture. Avoid overexerting as it can lead to an injury.
2. Opt for a calcium and vitamin D-rich diet – You will have to give up on spicy, oily, and canned food and eat a well-balanced diet. Try to have calcium and vitamin D-rich food in a regular diet which helps to strengthen the bones. Go for milk, cheese, and other dairy foods. Green leafy vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, okra, soya beans/ragi, tofu, nuts, salmon, cod liver oil, egg yolk, sun-dried mushrooms, or vitamin D-fortified foods are also good options. Take calcium and Vitamin D supplements as per the doctor’s advice.
3. Get enough sunlight – It is good for the bones. Try to expose yourself to the sun in the morning around 8:00 am. Do not do so during the afternoon as the sun can be harsh on the skin.
4. Do not take oral glucocorticoids or any medications without the doctor’s advice. Also, do not use antacids or some other medication (anticovulsant) that raises the chances of osteoporosis and fracture. Limit caffeine intake to less than 1 to 2 servings per day.
Tips to prevent falls
Dr Nitish Arora advised, “It is necessary to improve lighting on the staircase, along the corridor, night lamps, in the kitchen, bathroom to avoid falls. Try to install grab bars near the toilet seat, in the bathing area. Opt for non-slip mats outside the washroom, kitchen, bedroom, and living room. Install handrails along the stairs, and corridor, remove rugs, and other obstacles or clutters from the floor or pathway that the elderly of our house are likely to use regularly. Do not keep the floor vet as one can slip and fall. Avoid keeping furniture in between while walking as there are chances of falling.”
Currently, the cases of osteoporosis are rising at a rapid rate. It is the need of the hour to follow some foolproof tips to keep osteoporosis at bay. Take good care of your bones and lead a healthy life.
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