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World Osteoporosis Day, highlighting the silent disease affecting both men and women

Osteoporosis

Come 20 October 2020, the health sector will be focusing on #WorldOsteoporosisDay, thereby generating awareness around this life-changing medical condition.

When looking at the disease, osteoporosis is a condition in which bone tissue is reduced and the micro-architecture of bone is disrupted. In fact, osteoporosis literally means porous bones.

However, and unbeknown to many, it is important to highlight that osteoporosis is a preventable disease, with both sufficient calcium intake and lifestyle adaptions playing key roles in preventing its onset.

As with most severe medical conditions, osteoporosis is classified as a silent disease. This is mainly due to it progressing undetected for several years—before first signs begin to show. Unfortunately, one of the first signs of this disease is a fracture.

Some of the fractures include spinal and hip fractures. Studies have shown that both types of fractures can have devastating effects on an individual’s life. Such is the seriousness, that a hip fracture alone can result in death, institutionalisation or reduced functional capacity.

It is important to highlight, that despite what many people might think, osteoporosis is not a disease which solely affects elderly women. Studies show men and young people are also susceptible.

By taking a few simple steps, you can minimise the chances of suffering from osteoporosis. These steps include:

Diet

Following a proper, balanced diet, which contains suitable amounts of calories, vitamins and mineral assists in maintaining one’s bone health. Additionally, through ensuring an adequate intake of Vitamin C, protein, and calories, you can help promote normal collagen synthesis in your body.

Exercise

Regular exercise is also paramount, as it is the only physiological way to arouse bone formation. In fact, people who follow an exercise program, tend to have higher peak bone mass. Exercise also seems to slow down age-related bone loss.

Kick smoking and limit your alcohol intake

According to medical studies, women should not have more than one alcoholic drink a day, while men should not have more than two alcoholic drinks a day. Exceeding this can lead to osteoporosis. Additionally, research shows chronic alcoholism is related to significant bone-loss in nearly 50% of cases.

Furthermore, female smokers often have lower blood levels of oestrogen, as well as a lower body mass and tend to go through menopause earlier than non-smokers. Also, bone mass in smokers is generally 15-25% lower than non-smokers.

Be sure to lead a healthy lifestyle and visit your doctor on a regular basis.

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