What is Osteoporosis?
- Disease of the bones wherein they become weak and brittle, and hence break easily.
- Also known as ‘Brittle Bone Disease’
- Fractures generally occur in the hip, spine and wrist region.
- Hip fractures are considered to be the worst, since they can lead to permanent disability and loss of independence.
- Osteoporosis has no early warning symptoms. However, in recent times, tests for early detection have been made available to the general public.
- It so happens that older women bear the major brunt of this disease.
- 1 in 4 women (over the age of 50) and 1 in 8 men (over the age of 50) have osteoporosis.
- There are no initial symptoms of the disease.
- Later stage symptoms comprise of:
- Back pain
- Bending of the spine
- Pain in the joints especially knees, hips and ankles
- Doctors use a special kind of x-ray test known as the ‘Bone densitometry’ test
Can Osteoporosis be prevented?
- Yes, it can be prevented by consuming calcium rich food items in ones youth.
- Calcium rich food items include: Milk, cheese, yoghurt, butter milk, beans, spinach, nuts and dry fruits.
- Older people can make use of calcium tablets available in the market.
- Regular exercise can also help prevent osteoporosis.
- Keep away from smoking and excessive consumption of cola drinks, coffee and tea.
- In the case of post-menstrual women, medicines like Calcitonin, Bisphosphonates and Vitamin D and Calcium medicines are generally prescribed.
How to avoid fractures (in case of those who are already affected by Osteoporosis)?
- Be careful of objects that may make one trip, such as door-mats, carpets etc.
- Avoid bending or stretching suddenly or beyond easy reach of objects to be picked up
- Keep your corridors and staircases well-lit
- Your bathrooms must be designed in such a way, so as to prevent water logging and slipperiness.
- Get your eye-sight checked on a regular basis so that you do not miss a step or bump into obstacles and fall