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Managing Osteoporosis: Here's how
Osteoporosis is a disease that causes bones to become abnormally thin, weakened, and prone to fractures. It is generally characterised by low bone density and degradation of bone tissue in terms of micro-architecture. Such a loss can make the bones fragile and increase the chances of fractures.
Osteoporosis shares a high burden in India, it is reported that there are currently over 230 million Indians over the age of 50 years, out of which 20% suffer from Osteoporosis. Estimates report that 1 out of 8 males and 1 out of 3 females in India suffers from osteoporosis, this essentially makes India one of the worst hit countries of the world.

Dr. K.K Aggarwal, National President Elect Indian Medical Association (IMA), stated that , "Women generally are at a higher risk for osteoporosis because after menopause, estrogen levels decline. Estrogen is important in maintaining bone mass and density. Initial stages of osteoporosis are not usually diagnosed and remains asymptomatic, that is why the term 'silent disease'. It becomes clinically evident only when fractures occur. Osteoporosis tends to worsen with age due to the loss of bone density leading to increased rates of fractures."

"A bone healthy diet including good amount of protein and calories as well as optimal amounts of calcium and vitamin D, which are important in maintaining proper bone formation and bone density is crucial for managing osteoporosis. Moreover, controlling caffeine, alcohol and salt has been proven to prevent bone loss. To strengthen the skeletal architecture and improve bone density, exercising for at least 30 minutes three times per week is advised", Dr K.K Aggarwal added.

Following are some tips that should be followed while managing osteoporosis:

  • Exercise regularly: Weight-bearing, muscle-strengthening and balance-training exercises are best.

  • Ensure a diet rich in bone-healthy nutrients: Calcium, vitamin D and protein are the most important for bone health. Safe exposure to sunshine will help you get enough vitamin D.

  • Avoid negative lifestyle habits: Maintain a healthy body weight, stop smoking and reduce alcohol intake.

  • Identify your risk factors: And bring these to your doctor's attention, especially if you've had a previous fracture or have specific diseases and/or are taking medications that affect bone health.

  • Take osteoporosis medicine, if needed: Treatment will help to improve bone miner density (BMD) and reduce risk of fracture.

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