The literal meaning of Osteoporosis is porous bones. It is a medical condition that causes thinning of bones. The bones become porous, brittle and weak, making them more susceptible to fractures, especially in the spine, hip and wrists. Even small bumps, falls and sneezes can cause the bones to break.
Our bone tissues are constantly renewing themselves, that is, the weak and old bone tissues are replaced by new bones. In our 20s, we reach the peak of our bone mass density. But after that the bone starts to lose mass with passing time. As we grow older, the process of renewal becomes slower, bones break down faster than the time taken to build new bones. Osteoporosis is the result of this happening excessively in an individual’s body.
What can cause osteoporosis?
The condition affects both men and women, but women run a higher risk of it than men. Especially post menopause, a woman’s body stops producing estrogen. Estrogen is a hormone found in the female body that also helps in maintaining the bone-mass density, among various other functions.
Deficiency of calcium or vitamin D can typically result in osteoporosis. And people with small body frames are more likely to suffer from it as they have less bone mass to draw from, as they age.
It is also believed that white people and people of Asian descent are at a greater risk of osteoporosis. Activities like smoking, steroid consumption and being malnourished can aggravate the likelihood of it. Factors like family history, dietary factors, and hormone levels should also be taken into consideration when we talk of osteoporosis. A hunched posture in old people is usually caused by the weakening of the bones of their spine.
Can osteoporosis be prevented, and how?
Exercising regularly and eating nutritious food play a significant role in maintaining good health of the bones.
It is necessary to include calcium and protein rich foods in your diet such as low-fat dairy, salmon, green leafy vegetables, soy products such as tofu, etc.
Make sure you get plenty of protein in the form of foods like chicken, eggs, and nuts in your diet as they are the building blocks of the bone.
If you live in high latitudes where the sunlight is inadequate, take vitamin D supplement.
Exercising at the gym and other forms of workouts such as cycling, jogging, skipping will prove to be instrumental in strengthening the muscles and the bones, lowering the risk of osteoporosis.