Sat, 07 July 2018
Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones become brittle, thin and easily breakable, causing them to lose strength density. It causes fractures of spine, hip or wrist, which can occur from a fall or sometimes a minor trauma. It can also lead to compression fractures in the spine, resulting in a loss of height and neck, as well as slight curving of the upper back.
Osteoporosis is more prevalent in women than men; small body frame, old age and reduced sex hormone levels, with low calcium intake increase the risk of the disease.
Symptoms and Risks
There are no symptoms in the early stage of the condition. However, menopausal women may experience generalised weakness, and those on corticosteroids for a long time, or with a family history of osteoporosis, are at a high risk and should go for screening.
Unchangeable risks: females more susceptible than males, old age, small body frame, and being Caucasian and Asian, who have a higher risk of developing the condition.
Take Actions to Lead a Bone-Healthy Lifestyle
If you have any of the risk factors, talk to a doctor and seek a bone-health assessment. Follow these simple tips to reduce the risks of osteoporosis:
• Increase physical activity to 30 to 40 minutes, five days a week.
• Ensure a nutritious, balanced diet with enough calcium.
• Spend more time outdoors to get vitamin D.
• If smoking, stop!
• Drink alcohol moderately.
Osteoporosis can be confirmed by taking a bone density test as well as biochemical tests for vitamin D, calcium, TSH (thyroid-stimulating hormone) and PTH (parathyroid hormone).
When to Consider Treatment
It depends on your bone density tests.
• T-scores of -1.0 and above: No osteoporosis medicine required.
• T-scores between -1.0 and -2.5: Take osteoporosis medicine when there is a risk factor.
• T-scores below -2.5: Take osteoporosis medicine.
The One-minute Osteoporosis Risk Test can also help you understand the status of your bone health.
Vitamin D is essential for good bone health, which can be achieved by sun exposure for 20 minutes per day, four to five days a week. Normal intake of 600-800 IU per day from food and supplements is enough.
Exercise, too, plays a vital role, and should include weight-bearing exercises, swimming, cycling and cardio training exercise.
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