Watch out for your bone health after turning 50

Dr Pradeep Bhosale, Director Arthritis and Joint Replacement Surgery, Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital, shares how to identify and prevent the symptoms of the weakening of the bones after the age of 50

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Osteoporosis happens when the bones start weakening, leading to break of bones and fractures. It affects both, men and women, but the risk is more in women due to menopause, which results in a sudden reduction in oestrogen level. Risk factors for osteoporosis include aging, high body weight, poor activity level, low sex hormones or menopause, smoking, and few drugs.

No one gets to know about osteoporosis until he/she experiences a crack or fracture. Osteoporosis is a disease that silently arrives.  The side effects of osteoporosis include a backache, slow loss of height and formation of the stoop and easy micro-fractures at multiple levels of spine, wrist or hip. Old bones are continually replacing it with new bones as bones are living tissue.

Around 85 to 90 per cent of the grown-up bone mass is gained by the age 18 in women and 20 in men, so forming solid bones during youth can help avoid osteoporosis at a later age.

Brain governs hormonal activities. Activities are kind of feedback for the brain, and the brain makes necessary changes to improve bone structure to perform those activities. Hence, a bedridden person, whose activities are less, his/her bones tend to become weaker. While a person, who works out every day, the brain will stimulate stronger bone formation.

There are some lifestyle choices to prevent from osteoporosis that include:

Performing weight-bearing exercises:  Physical exercises that power you to neutralise gravity, for example, strolling and climbing, reinforce your bones and muscle

Following a healthy diet:  Eating nutritious food that is rich in calcium and vitamin D is basic to bone wellbeing

Abstaining from drinking alcohol in excess:  People who drink a more liquor at a young age are more inclined to bone misfortune and broken bones, as the intake of alcohol have damaged the critical bone building

Quit smoking: Notwithstanding being hurtful to the heart and lungs, smoking is additionally awful for bones, since the individuals who smoke may assimilate less calcium from the nourishment they eat

Early diagnosis: Bone density test is the most precise diagnostic tool to pre-empt the onset of osteoporosis. If you hit early menopause, it is recommended to do a bone density test