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  • Writer's pictureDr. Darshil Shah

What is Osteoporosis?

Updated: Sep 11, 2020


What is Osteoporosis?


Osteoporosis is a term used to describe the loss of bone density, mass, and strength that leads to bone pain and vulnerability to fracture. Both men and women start losing bone density between the age of 30 and 40 years. Women lose more bone density more rapidly after menopause.



Signs and Symptoms


Early

  • May cause no symptoms

  • Backache

Late

  • Vertebral or spinal column fractures are the most common.

  • Spinal deformity with a hump back

  • Loss of height

  • Fractures occur with minor injury commonly of the hip, wrist, or shoulder.


Causes


Osteoporosis may occur due to:


  • After menopause - Due to low oestrogen levels

  • Decreased level of activity especially with increasing age

  • Smoking, Alcohol consumption

  • Medications containing corticosteroids and certain seizure medications

  • Poor nutrition, especially inadequate calcium and protein

  • Inadequate exposure to sunlight

  • Vitamin C deficiency

  • Hyperthyroidism


How can we prevent it?


Ensure adequate calcium intake of 1000 mg a day.

Vitamin D3 supplementation


What is the ideal time to be in the sun?


Unfortunately, the "right circumstances" are unclear: the season, the time of day, where you live, cloud cover, and even pollution affect the amount of UVB that reaches your skin. Furthermore, your skins production of vitamin D is influenced by age (people ages 65 and over generate only one-fourth as much as people in their 20s do), skin color (Dark skinned people need more sunlight exposure than light skinned individuals to generate the same quantity of Vitamin D), and sunscreen use (though experts don't all agree on the extent to which sunscreen interferes with sun-related vitamin D production).



Calcium rich Food

 

Plant Based

  • Nut Milks (Fortified)

  • Soy/Rice Milk (Unfortified)

  • Poppy/Sesame/Chia Seeds

  • Tahini

  • Almonds/Almond Butter

  • Kale

  • Tofu

  • Dried Figs

  • Soybeans/ Soy Yogurt

  • Rhubarb

  • Navy Beans

  • Oats

  • Broccoli

  • Quinoa

  • Cannellini Beans

  • Navel Orange


Animal Based


  • Parmesan/ Swiss/ American Cheese

  • Whey Protein

  • Sardines, canned in oil

  • Cow/ Goat Milk

  • Sockeye Salmon, canned with bones

  • Yogurt

  • Cottage Cheese

  • Chicken Feet

  • Mackerel

  • Shrimp

  • Liver Pate, goose

  • Eggs

  • Chinook King Salmon

  • Carp

  • Snapper

It is not advisable to rely on calcium fortified products to satisfy your daily needs.



How do you manage Osteoporosis?


The best treatment is prevention, which includes regular weight-bearing exercise (swimming doesn't count), a well-balanced diet, avoiding smoking, alcohol, and medications that may cause bone loss. Certain supplements and medications — calcium and fluoride supplements, vitamin D, bisphosphonates, and estrogens — may be prescribed to prevent or slow the progression of bone loss after menopause or following the surgical removal of ovaries. If estrogen is prescribed, get regular Pap smears and pelvic exams. Examine your breasts regularly for lumps, and report vaginal bleeding or discharge to your doctor.



When to consult an Orthopaedic surgeon?


If you're suffering from any of the above mentioned symptoms, kindly visit your orthopaedic surgeon or consult with Dr. Shah to get a treatment plan tailor made for you.




The above article is written to provide general information to the common public. Please consult your orthopaedic surgeon before beginning any sort of treatment. Do not attempt to self-medicate as this may lead to undesirable side effects.

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