If we split up the word osteoporosis in literal terms it means- Bones which are porous.
Whenever we talk about healthy lifestyle, we always focus on different things to change and protect ourselves from severe diseases. When we talk about our bone health, it is important to keep our bones healthy to prevent osteoporosis.
Why is it important to prevent osteoporosis?
- Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become weak. It can break from a minor fall as well. It is a very common condition now which is why it is important to know about it and prevent it.
- Osteoporosis is a very serious condition because when your bones break it becomes a very serious issue. The more you age, the more risk increases. The most common areas which gets affected is hip bone, spine and wrist. But that doesn’t mean nothing else can get affected.
- Osteoporosis is very costly. Treatment takes a chunk of your money!
So, let us get back to our basics.
What is a bone?
- It is made up of 3 components- collagen, calcium phosphate mineral and living bone cells.
Function of these 3 bone components are as follows: –
- Collagen is a protein which gives bone its flexibility
- Calcium phosphate mineral makes your bone stronger and harder
- Living bone cells helps in replacing the sections of bone which are weak.
What are the risk factors of osteoporosis?
- If you are a female, the risk of osteoporosis becomes higher
- Your age has a larger impact on your bones, the older you are- the risk is higher.
- If you have a strong family history of osteoporosis or weak bones
- If your body framework is very fragile
- Women who hit their menopause are at higher risk of osteoporosis
- Drop in sex hormones in your body
- Calcium deficient diet
- Very sedentary lifestyle
- Over consumption of alcohol
- If you are on steroidal medicines, risk becomes higher
- Strong history of asthma also increases the risk of osteoporosis
These are just the risk factors, it is not a compulsion that everyone who falls in this range will be suffering from osteoporosis. There are different laboratory tests which can help you identifying your bone condition.
To cut the long story short, osteoporosis occurs when there is a severe bone loss or your body is not having enough bone.
How can different dietary deficiencies affect your bone health?
- It is a very important micronutrient when it comes to your bone health. It is a building block of your bone.
- Dairy products like milk, yogurt, cheese are good sources of calcium.
- 3 servings of dairy a day is a must for everyone (It more important for people following the category of different risk factors above)
(2) Vitamin D
- This is again a very important vitamin because it is used by your body to absorb calcium.
- If your body is deficient in vitamin D, your body will not absorb calcium properly.
- Sources of vitamin D are negligible hence it is important to get yourself checked and ask your healthcare provider for a proper supplement dose.
- It is also an important micronutrient because like it is mentioned above, bone has phosphorous.
- This mineral is naturally present in many foods hence deficiency of this mineral is very rare.
- But is an important to keep an eye on this mineral too.
- Protein is an extremely important macronutrient which is required by your body.
- Make sure you are getting around 0.8-1g per kg body weight proteins on everyday basis.
- Connect with your health care provider for more information on this.
Which medications can cause bone loss?
- Antacids which has aluminum has a component.
- Anti-seizure medicines
- Chemotherapeutic drugs
- Proton pump inhibitors
- Thyroid hormone in excess
Is there any connection between osteoporosis and osteoarthritis?
- Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis. In this condition, it causes thinning of joint cartilage whereas osteoporosis means weak bones .
- There is no direct connection between osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
What are the different medical conditions which can lead to osteoporosis?
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Blood disorders
- Bone marrow disorders
- Breast cancer
- Cushing’s syndrome
- Anorexia nervosa or eating disorders
- IBD- Inflammatory bowel disease
- CKD- chronic kidney disease
- Malabsorption of nutrients
- Multiple myeloma
- Parkinson’s disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Severe weight loss
- Liver cirrhosis
Which laboratory tests can help you determine about your bone health?
- DXA- Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry
- pDXA- Peripheral dual energy x-ray absorptiometry
- QUS- Quantitative ultrasound
- QCT- Quantitative computed tomography
- pQCT- peripheral Quantitative computed tomography
- RA- Radiographic absorptiometry
- SXA- Single energy x-ray absorptiometry
What does your BMD Test reports say about your bones?
- Always check for T SCORE.
- +1 to –1 says you have normal bone
- -1 to – 2.5 says you have low bone density or osteopenia
- -2.5 or lower says you have osteoporosis
What is osteopenia?
- Osteopenia is a medical term which is basically used for bone density which is lower than the normal range but it is not very low to be called as osteoporosis.
- Osteopenia can use used as a danger mark for osteoporosis.