Updated: October 20, 2020 4:51:03 pm
Bone health, which plays a major role in the overall well-being of a person, has become a cause for concern lately. A study confirms that one in three women and one in five men aged 50 years or above is likely to suffer an osteoporotic fracture. This data also reflects how women and elderly are at risk of developing the condition. Although losing bone density is a part of ageing, unhealthy lifestyle along with vitamin D deficiency makes the condition worse.
Amid COVID 19 pandemic when staying at home is the norm, a section of the society is leading a sedentary lifestyle which is also putting their bone health at risk. Also the stay-at-home situation has led to depleting vitamin D levels due to less exposure to sunlight. On World Osteoporosis Day 2020, observed annually on October 20, Dr Rajesh Kumar Verma, director, orthopaedics and spine surgery, Dharamshila Narayana Superspeciality Hospital tells us what exactly the condition is and how vitamin D deficiency adds to the risk.
What is osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a systematic disease which makes bones so porous or weak that even mild stress causes a fracture. It is called an osteoporotic fracture. Ageing, hormonal changes after menopause, calcium and vitamin D deficiency are some causes.
Osteoporosis and vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin D is needed for calcium absorption in our body. Sunshine is one of the major sources but considering dense concrete structures in cities, people do not required sunshine exposure.
A study confirms that around 70 to 90 per cent of Indians are sunshine vitamin-deficient which may add to the increased rate of osteoporosis. People should get their vitamin D levels tested and follow concerned doctor’s instructions; Government should also come up with broader planning for the management of ensuring proper vitamin D intake by every person, stress experts.
Dr Alok Kalyani, consultant rheumatologist, Sri Balaji action Medical Institute explains how sedentary lifestyle during COVID pandemic can put people’s health at the risk.
Generally, lack of physical activities and an unhealthy food pattern is considered to be related to increased body fat and cholesterol but this pattern is equally harmful to bones also. Also, we have witnessed that patients already suffering from serious diseases are not reporting to the hospitals fearing the risk of catching an infection. Hence, amid COVID 19 pandemic, major lifestyle changes need to be introduced.
*Women after menopause should be extra cautious, keep their nutrition intake high and consult doctors in case of unnecessary fatigue or pain.
*Increase intake of calcium and protein in every meal instead of munching on snacks while working. Add milk, green vegetables, fruits, fish etc. to your meals as per your preference.
*While working on a laptop, use a table and chair. Keep your posture straight while sitting. Keep taking breaks after every one hour for two minutes to get up and move your body a little.
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*Never avoid any pain in joints or bones. Don’t put your health at risk. Take every required precaution.
*Spend at least 15 minutes daily under sunshine for vitamin D intake. One can go to the roof, park or even a window with proper sunlight can serve the purpose.
*Make exercise and other physical activities a habit. As staying more at home is already holding us from the required body movements, we need to become more active. Stationary jogging in front of an open window or mild yoga asanas can be good options.
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