- World Osteoporosis Day is observed on 20 October each year
- Osteoporosis increases the risk of fracture of an individual
- Regular exercise can help reduce osteoporosis risk
World Osteoporosis Day is observed on every 20th October. This day tries to create awareness about the causes, prevention and treatment for this condition that affects bones. Osteoporosis is a condition where the density of the bone goes below the level that is expected for a particular age and gender in comparison to the population at large. In this condition the bones become brittle and porous which puts an individual at a higher risk of fractures. In some cases the bones become so brittle that even coughing can lead to fracture.
World Osteoporosis Day: Know the causes
Some loss of bone density is essentially a part of aging process and hence is inevitable. In people who lose it faster than others and end up with densities lower than what is considered normal for others of the same age end up with bone pain and a significantly increased fracture risk. As the life expectancies are increasing all over the world with prevention of more and more avoidable deaths the osteoporosis incidence is reaching epidemic proportions.
One interesting fact about bone density is that it increases only till mid twenties and ceases to increase a few years earlier in females than men. So most men have higher bone densities compared to females, so even if everybody is to lose a fixed amount of bone density every year females are likely to become osteoporotic earlier owing to a low peak bone density. The female hormones which are protective normally suddenly are unavailable after menopause and hence menopause poses a significant risk for females to become osteoporotic especially if it occurs early either due to any disease process or surgical removal of ovaries. Under normal circumstances bone densities in females post menopause will be comparable to males in their 70's.
Besides the role of aging and menopause in females which one can call the primary cause of osteoporosis there are some disease conditions which can cause either failure to attain the peak bone density in young people or accelerate the rate of bone loss, these are called as the secondary causes of osteoporosis. The secondary causes that can be easily identified and treated are thyroid problems, lack of vitamin D, menstrual problems in young females, obesity, lack of exercise, alcohol usage ,smoking, drug usage and steroids and a large array of inflammatory joint and bowel diseases and also diabetes in youth.
Also read: Osteoporosis: Know All About It
In population whose primary staple diet is wheat special attention needs to be given to gluten sensitivity in food called celiac disease which is also one of the causes of osteoporosis. This is not so commonly identified and remains as a common cause of poor growth in children and youth but is largely treatable with minor food adjustments.
(Dr. Palash Gupta, Director ad Co-ordinator, Joint Replacement and Orthopaedics, Max Hospital Shalimar Bagh)
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