Awareness towards vital Health issues: Osteoporosis
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TOPIC: General studies 2
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis, which literally means porous bone, is a disease in which the density and quality of bone are reduced. As bones become more porous and fragile, the risk of fracture is greatly increased. The loss of bone occurs silently and progressively. Often there are no symptoms until the first fracture occurs.
- Viewed under a microscope, healthy bone looks like a honeycomb. When osteoporosis occurs, the holes and spaces in the honeycomb are much larger than in healthy bone. Osteoporotic bones have lost density or mass and contain abnormal tissue structure.
- As we age some of our bone cells begin to dissolve bone matrix (resorption), while new bone cells deposit osteoid (formation). This process is known as remodeling.
- For people with osteoporosis, bone loss outpaces the growth of new bone. Bones become porous, brittle and prone to fracture.
- When osteoporosis affects vertebrae, or the bones of the spine, it often leads to a stooped or hunched posture.
- Osteoporosis may limit mobility, which often leads to feelings of isolation or depression.
- Additionally, twenty percent of seniors who break a hip die within one year from either complications related to the broken bone itself or the surgery to repair it. Many patients require long-term nursing home care.
The Way Forward
The bone is a dynamic living structure that gets formed and absorbed in the blood every day. The calcium level that needs to be maintained in the bloodstream is drawn from either the food we eat or our bones. When the hormonal protection wears off, bone loss speeds up and the imbalance created between bone creation and its usage weakens the bone density. This clinical condition is osteoporosis, which can be reversed with a proper diet and regular exercise. But when neglected, it progresses silently, hampering daily movement, and putting you at risk of fractures.
There is a need for a greater awareness of the disease. Right from childhood, we must ensure a nutritious diet apart from an active lifestyle. Children should be allowed to play out under the sun so that Vitamin D is absorbed by the body. Only some form of exercise will make the bones strong. A person builds bone mass till 35 years after which bone loss begins.
October 20 is celebrated as World Osteoporosis Day.