What is Osteoporosis? Causes, Diet and Exercise
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition when bones lose strength, become weak and start degenerating. Weak bones can easily break causing major fractures, hairline fractures in the bones, hip fractures, spinal fractures and wrist fractures. These injuries may permanently handicap a person.
What actually happens?
Bones in the human body grow till the about the age of 30. During this time, the body keeps producing substances that form new bones and removes old bone substances. This is the period when the bone remains the strongest, and they can heal and recover from any injury.
After 30 years of age the body starts to reduce the production of new bones. This is when the bones start to weaken, and osteoporosis sets in.
Osteoporosis can be prevented by following a healthy lifestyle. Eating the right kind of food and exercising are the keys to preventing osteoporosis.
Causes of Osteoporosis
The following are the causes of Osteoporosis -
- deficiency of vitamin D and calcium
- drinking excess alcohol
- lack of exercises
- lethargic lifestyle
Long time use of medications such as steroids and antacids can also be one of the causes of osteoporosis.
The following is all about how to prevent osteoporosis -
Diet to Prevent Osteoporosis
- Calcium is crucial to strengthen the bone. Following a calcium-rich diet is essential for strong bones. Low-fat milk, low-fat yogurt, cheese, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, and soy, are all rich in calcium.
- Green leafy vegetables have lots of calcium, potassium, and vitamin K. They are important to prevent loss of calcium from the bones.
- A low-salt diet helps to prevent osteoporosis. When salt content is high in the body, the calcium content in the body reduces, making the bones weak.
- Decrease the amount of coffee intake. Three cups a day would be ideal. Caffeine present in coffee beans depletes the calcium content in the body, making the bones weak.
- Collagen is a long fibrous protein that provides the body with strength and supports the bone structure. Eat fiber rich food.
- The human body needs Vitamin C to produce collagen. Organic goji berries, bell peppers, citrus fruits, broccoli, Brussel sprouts are all rich in Vitamin C.
Exercises to Prevent Osteoporosis
Weight-bearing exercises help to stop bone loss. Examples of weight-bearing exercises are running, weightlifting, tennis, climbing stairs, aerobics, dancing and volleyball. Weight-bearing exercises make the bones strong and less susceptible to injuries.
Exercises help to improve posture and flexibility. Being flexible and agile will help to support and balance the body and reduce the chances of falling. This will help to prevent any injury to the bones.
Safety Guidelines to Prevent Bone Injury Due to Osteoporosis
- Installing bed railings will help to prevent elder people who are more prone to osteoporosis from rolling off the bed by accident.
- Wearing rubber-soled shoes that fit properly and have extra traction will help to prevent from slipping and falling that can result in injury to the bones.
- Removing objects lying on the floor will help to reduce the risk of tripping over, falling and injuring the bones.
- Protection gear is crucial while playing any sport. For example helmets, chin straps, knee pads, elbow pads, etc. Without proper protection, the risk of injury to the bones is very high.
- Wearing helmets while driving a bike or a scooter, wearing the seatbelt while driving a car are all safety measures to prevent any bone injury.
Early detection of osteoporosis can prevent onset of osteoporosis. A screening test called Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry can measure bone and mineral density and can detect osteoporosis. Bone density tests are recommended for middle-aged women and all women 65 years of age.