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Bone health in women-Take care !

Updated on April 1, 2013

Osteoporosis in Women

Love your bones !

Women of all ages are vulnerable to reduction of bone tissue which is known medically as 'Osteoporosis'. It leads to increased bone fragility and risk of fracture, particularly of the hip. spine, wrist and shoulder. Women after the age of 50 and past their menopause are especially at risk due to lack of oestrogen. The condition can lead to a hunched posture and be very painful. Bone is a living and growing tissue that is constantly broken down and renewed. A value of less than 2.0 in a bone density test, which is commonly done by a scan, confirms the diagnosis. Regular physical activity and a diet rich in calcium can prevent osteoporosis. Dairy products such as milk, yoghurt and cheese are the best sources of calcium, but it is also found in broccoli, soya bean, apricot, grapes, orange juice, seeds and nuts and salmon fish. The body needs vitamin D for absorption of calcium. The skin makes vitamin D from sunlight and its hard to get it if we remain indoors all day. Women should go outdoors every day and get enough sunlight. Caffeine intake should be minimised as it can affect adversely the absorption of calcium. Excess alcohol can lead to bone loss. Salt can increase the excretion of calcium in the urine, so a low salt diet makes sense. Calcium supplements can help, but it is always better to get it from the food, because the body absorbs and uses it better. Menopausal women can benefit immensely if they can take 1000 mg of calcium and 400 IU of vitamin D daily in addition to some form of hormone replacement therapy.

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