New Delhi: Osteoporosis is a bone disease that develops when bone density decreases, making bones weak and porous. Although it can happen to anyone and at any age, women over 50 have the greatest risk of developing osteoporosis. The condition increases the risk of fractures, especially in the hip or spine.
According to recent statistics from the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF), worldwide, one in three women over the age of 50 will experience osteoporotic fractures in her lifetime. Overall, 61% of osteoporosis-related fractures occur in women.
For the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and to improve bone density, vitamin D supplementation has been found to be beneficial. Vitamin D is one of the essential nutrients for bones and ensures the proper mineralization of bones.
Why are women more prone to osteoporosis?
First, women have smaller and thinner bones than men. Second, estrogen, a female hormone that protects bones, declines when women reach menopause. With age, estrogen decreases, as does bone density. Third, a family history of osteoporosis or low bone mineral density also puts a person at higher risk.
Other risk factors include low calcium diet, excessive smoking or alcohol, chronic diseases, eating disorders, reduced physical activity, etc.
What are the symptoms of osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is also called a silent bone disease because in some cases it can progress without pain or symptoms. When noticed, symptoms include back pain, hunched posture and susceptibility to fractures.
How does vitamin D help prevent osteoporosis?
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium from food. With improved calcium intake, bone density improves. Calcium and vitamin D help strengthen bones in women after menopause. It also helps prevent other conditions that cause weak bones, such as rickets.
Measured in international units (IU), it is recommended that the dose of vitamin D in the management of osteoporosis should not be less than 700-800 IU per day.
Sun exposure is the best natural source of vitamin D. However, sunscreens and sunscreens reduce the amount of vitamin D in the body despite staying outdoors. At least 10-15 minutes in the morning sun is advised for health benefits. Besides sunlight, vitamin-rich foods and supplements are suggested for vitamin D intake.
What are the side effects of vitamin D?
When taken in proper doses, vitamin D is safe and actually good for bones. However, too much vitamin D can be harmful. This can lead to bone pain, high blood pressure, heart and kidney problems.
Are there risks of osteoporosis during pregnancy?
Although extremely rare, in some cases women develop a temporary type of osteoporosis during pregnancy. The mother may lose some bone density during pregnancy due to the baby’s increased need for calcium, which is taken from the mother’s bones. Lost bone mass is usually restored after childbirth.
Does Breastfeeding Affect Bone Density?
Like pregnancy, breastfeeding can also cause temporary bone loss. This is because during lactation, estrogen levels are lower and this affects calcium absorption. However, bone density recovers over time and does not harm a woman’s long-term bone health.
It is therefore advisable for all pregnant and breastfeeding women to ensure a diet rich in vitamin D and calcium for healthy bones.
How is osteoporosis diagnosed and treated?
A bone density test to see how strong or weak the bones are is done for osteoporosis. Called dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), the test is a type of x-ray of the bones that helps guide treatment decisions.
For treatment, doctors recommend drugs to build bone mass. A balanced diet and physical activity are also recommended.
How to prevent osteoporosis?
With age, especially for post-menopausal women, bone mass declines rapidly. In order to prevent osteoporosis and improve bone strength, it is advisable to take precautions from an early age. Have a balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamins, reduce alcohol consumption and stop smoking, be physically active with daily exercises, etc. Is usefull. In addition, regular examinations and consultations with orthopedists can help in the early detection of osteoporosis or any other bone disease.