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Tackling the bone loss – Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is the disease of bone that leads to an increased risk of fracture. The bone micro architecture deteriorates and the amount and variety of proteins in bone are altered; bone mineral density is reduced. This leads to increased bone fragility and risk of fracture, particularly of the hip, vertebra and distal radius.
Osteoporosis is often known as silent thief because bone loss occurs without signs and symptoms. At least one in three women and one in five men suffer from osteoporotic fracture during their lifetime. A higher occurrence of fracture in women is related to important postmenopausal changes in bone metabolism and to the fact that they live almost one third of their life after the menopause. We have a real opportunity to improve bone health and this begins with awareness and education. This article is such an effort to encourage people take positive steps to improve their bone health and manage osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is defined by WHO as bone mineral density of 2.5 standard deviation or more below the mean peak bone mass (average of young healthy adults) as measured by dual energy X ray absorptiometry.
- Primary Type 1 – Menopausal osteoporosis.
- Primary Type 2 – Senile osteoporosis. Seen after 75 years of age. Seen in both females and males at a ratio of 2:1.
- Secondary osteoporosis- Result of chronic predisposing medical problem or diseases or prolonged use of medication such as glucocorticoids.
Our body is constantly breaking down our old cells and growing new ones. Just like our skin cells shed daily, our bone cells also get replaced by new cells. To assist bone growth, build a dense bone and prevent osteoporosis, you need a good supply of calcium. You also need an ample quantity of vitamin D without which the calcium you take is sent out of body as waste. Our body doesn’t make calcium on its own. The best way is to improvise your diet to include more calcium intake. Milk, cheese, and yogurt are good sources of calcium. Other foods rich in calcium are spinach, soya bean, some fishes like sardine, salmon, perch, and rainbow trout. It is harder to get enough vitamin D from foods. Majority of vitamin D is formed in the body when you walk out in the sunlight with exposed skin. WHO recommendations to general public include a physically active lifestyle, with some time regularly spent outdoors, balanced diet providing calcium intake of at least 800-1500 milligram per day in children and adults, as well as avoiding smoking and high alcohol consumption.
A good source of calcium, magnesium, vitamin D, vitamin C, and B complex vitamins can altogether prevent the bone loss. They include:
- Green leafy vegetables are found to have good calcium reserves and magnesium in it. They can be handpicked from your garden or from the organic store. The major ones are spinach, lettuce, celeries and moringa leaves. Almost all of the nutrients are seen in the green leaves and so that should become the essential part of an osteoporosis diet.
- Milk is better to be avoided as it has no proven effect in promoting the bone growth although the major advertisements propagate so.
- Dry fruits and seeds are essential bone growth foods which contain calcium and magnesium.
- B complex vitamin sources include sprouts and whole grain meals. Again green leaves are an important source along with differently coloured fruits and vegetables.
- Citrus fruits contain vitamin C and play an important role in the collagen synthesis which is essential for normal bone matrix and cartilage build up.
I hope this article provides helpful information for maintaining better bone health. As a request to readers, please take time to consider your bones and measures to build healthy bones.
Dr Saphala Farooq
Consultant in diseases of Women and Children WeCARElife – Homeopathic General Medicine Clinic PH: 9349100724 (9.00am to 1.00pm)