An interesting fact is that the 208 bones present in your body are your hardest mass of living tissues. Their main function is providing support to your body and protecting your internal organs from injury. Did you know throughout your lifespan, your bones are constantly being broken and formed? In fact, bones build up through an unending process of bone resorption.

This break down and formation of your bones is a process known as bone remodelling. Your bone marrow produces large numbers of blood cells, and is a reservoir of minerals. Interestingly, your bones’ hardness is caused by these minerals. In fact, their mechanical strength is somewhere also caused by your structural protein collagen.

However, there exist conditions when your bones become fragile and porous. This indicates a disease called osteoporosis. Sometimes, bones loose their mineral density due to certain imbalances in the bone process.

Differences found in Osteoporotic Bones:

  • Thin and porous cortical bone

  • Thin, perforated and disconnected cancelleous bone

  • Space in bone marrow

Factors affecting Osteoporosis:

The following factors affect changes in structure and function of the bodies of both men and women. In fact, they result in bone strength reduction (loss of bone density and strength)

  • Genetic make-up, sex, age, race

  • Physical activity

  • Menopausal status or prolonged amenorrhoea

  • Thin body built

  • Smoking and excessive alcohol intake

  • Lifestyle changes with little supplementation of vitamin D and calcium

  • Climate change

  • Long term use of certain medications

  • Excessive intake of vitamin A and proteins

Causes of Osteoporosis:

  • Steroid medications such as prednisolone – Steroids are indicated for certain conditions, but it is important to use the effective dosage in the smallest amount possible, and that too for a short duration.

  • Alcohol – Alcohol consumption can weaken bones by reducing the body’s ability to replace normal bone losses.

  • Low testosterone levels – Lower-than-normal testosterone levels in men encourage osteoporosis. Almost 40% of men above 70 years suffer from low testosterone levels.

  • Excessive calcium loss.

  • Inadequate vitamin D intake.

Preventive Measures of Osteoporosis:

  • Regular exercise to stay physically active.

  • Adequate vitamin D through diet, exposure to sunlight and supplements.

  • Adequate intake of calcium and vitamin K.

  • Stop excessive salt, tobacco, animal protein and caffeine intake.

Facts About Bone Health

  • Bone mass peak starts declining after 30 years of age.

  • According to studies, people above 19 years of age require

    Vitamin D 600-800 IU daily

    Calcium 1000-1200mg daily

  • Bone density screening test is recommended for everyone at the age of 30, especially for those who have a family history of hip fracture. Also, for those who have had fractures or other bone related diseases between 45 – 50 years of age.

  • Calcium deficiency results in hypoglycemia. Actually, it is caused by phosphorus-induced hyperphosphatemia.

  • Boosting calcium intake ensures strong bones.

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