Osteoporosis, often referred to as the ‘silent disease,’ slowly weakens bones, making them fragile and more prone to fractures. In popular culture, osteoporosis is believed to be a disease of old age which affects all genders equally.
However, a 2022 study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health stated that 61 million people in India have osteoporosis and, out of these, 80% are women. In fact, the study shared that according to the World Health Organization, 30% of postmenopausal women suffer from osteoporosis.
Despite these dire statistics, there are proactive measures and management strategies that can help women's journey toward maintaining bone health and preventing osteoporosis.
Adequate nutrition is foundational to strong bones. Ensure your diet includes a rich source of calcium and vitamin D, which are essential nutrients for bone health. Dairy products, leafy greens, fortified foods, and fatty fish are excellent choices.
Engage in weight-bearing exercises to stimulate bone formation and increase bone density. Activities like walking, jogging, dancing, and resistance training are beneficial for maintaining bone strength. Consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise routine.
Quit Smoking and Limit Alcohol
Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption have been linked to bone loss. Quitting smoking and moderating alcohol intake contribute not only to overall health but also play a crucial role in preventing osteoporosis.
Adequate Intake of Vitamin K
Vitamin K is known to play a role in bone health by helping the body utilise calcium. Include foods rich in vitamin K, such as leafy greens, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts, in your diet.
Incorporate strength training exercises into your fitness regimen. Activities that challenge your muscles, such as lifting weights or using resistance bands, promote bone density and overall strength.
Osteoporosis increases the risk of fractures from falls. Take measures to prevent falls, such as removing tripping hazards at home, using handrails, and ensuring proper lighting.
Supplements Under Guidance
If dietary intake is insufficient, supplements of calcium and vitamin D may be recommended. Consult with your healthcare provider before starting any supplementation.
Maintain a Healthy Body Weight
Maintaining a healthy body weight is crucial for bone health. Extreme weight loss or being underweight can increase the risk of bone loss and fractures.
It’s apparent that preventing and managing osteoporosis in women involves a multifaceted approach. From a nutrient-rich diet to weight-bearing exercises and regular bone density testing, building strong bones is a proactive journey. By incorporating these preventive measures and management tips into your lifestyle, you can empower yourself to maintain bone health, reduce the risk of osteoporosis and enjoy a life of strength and resilience. Always consult with healthcare professionals for personalised advice based on your specific health needs and considerations.