Osteoporosis



Introduction:


Osteoporosis means weak bones. Bone becomes so weak and fragile that a minor bump or fall may lead to fracture. It happens when body loses too much bone and make very little or vice versa. Medications, healthy diet and weight bearing exercises help to prevent and treat osteoporosis.



Severe osteoporosis can lead to fractures in your hip, wrist and spine.


Why it is more common in females than males?



Women are more likely to develop osteoporosis than men, research have proved that 1 in 2 females is at risk of developing osteoporosis. If we consider a female who is pre-menopausal or post-menopausal have higher chance in developing osteoporosis than a female is into her reproductive phase {1}.


A hormone called as ‘oestrogen’ is responsible to absorb calcium from the body. In post-menopausal females there is a drop in oestrogen hormone, which decreases the absorption calcium hence making bone more weak and fragile.


What causes Osteoporosis?



Lack of physical activity- Regular exercise helps in bone development, calcium absorption in the body improves if you exercise on regular basis. Lack of exercise means you are at higher risk of developing osteoporosis {2}.


If you exercise at your early age is like investing into a bone bank as your pension plan so that when you get old you have enough of calcium in your bone and you can avoid osteoporosis.



Poor diet- If your diet doesn’t include calcium rich food then you has higher chances of developing osteoporosis in later stages of your life.


So watch what you eat!


Thyroid problems- if you have less thyroid hormone production in your body you have a higher chance in developing osteoporosis in later stages of your life. As adequate amount of thyroid hormone helps in proper absorption of calcium {3}.



Excessive alcohol consumption and smoking- if you are a heavy drinker then you have higher chances of developing osteoporosis as alcohol reduces the body’s ability to make healthy bone.


If you are a smoker then tobacco will hamper the levels of oestrogen hormone in females causing early menopause while in males it decreases the secretion of testosterone causing weakening of bones.


Symptoms of Osteoporosis


There are few early signs of osteoporosis like less grip strength.



A study states that there is a direct correlation with low grip strength and low bone mineral density {4}.



Weak or brittle nails- our nails are actually a mirror image of our bones less calcium absorption in the body more brittle or weak your nails are!{5}


In later stages of osteoporosis, excessive depletion of calcium from the bone can lead to fractures in spine. Spine fractures due to weak vertebra are compression fractures in the spine, which can lead to stooped posture, back and neck pain. Severe stooped posture can cause hyper kyphosis which in turn affects the breathing capacity of an individual.


Good nutrition and regular exercises from an early age will decrease ones risk to develop osteoporosis in later stages of life.


Eat healthy-Exercise-Repeat!


References-


1] Colpan L, Gur A, Cevik R, Nas K, Sarac AJ. The effect of calcitonin on biochemical markers and zinc excretion in postmenopausal osteoporosis. Maturitas. 2005;51(3):246-253. doi:10.1016/j.maturitas.2004.07.013.


2] Xu J, Lombardi G, Jiao W, Banfi G. Effects of Exercise on Bone Status in Female Subjects, from Young Girls to Postmenopausal Women: An Overview of Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses. Sports Med. 2016;46(8):1165-1182. doi:10.1007/s40279-016-0494-0.


3] Williams GR, Bassett JHD. Thyroid diseases and bone health. J Endocrinol Invest. 2018;41(1):99-109. doi:10.1007/s40618-017-0753-4.


4] Li YZ, Zhuang HF, Cai SQ, et al. Low Grip Strength is a Strong Risk Factor of Osteoporosis in Postmenopausal Women. Orthop Surg. 2018;10(1):17-22. doi:10.1111/os.12360.


5] Pillay I, Lyons D, German MJ, et al. The use of fingernails as a means of assessing bone health: a pilot study. J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2005;14(4):339-344. doi:10.1089/jwh.2005.14.339


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