Bones are tissues made up of calcium and other minerals. In people with osteoporosis, bone tissue breaks down faster than it is replaced. The bones become thinner and brittle and are more likely to break with pressure or after a fall. Bone loss happens without any warning signs. This is why osteoporosis is called a “silent disease.”
Bone tissue is replaced regularly in a process called bone turnover. From childhood into young adulthood, the body produces more than enough cells to replace those that die, resulting in stronger, denser bones. By 25 years of age, bones are at peak bone mass and at about 40 years of age, bone cells start to die at a more rapid rate than new cells are produced. This starts a slow decline in bone mass and may lead to the development of osteoporosis.
Did you know there is a difference between Osteoarthritis and Osteoporosis? Former is an issue of a joint cartilage whereas latter is an issue of bone density.
Following advice is imperative to osteoporosis – to make your bones stronger!
1. It firstly begins with a healthy habit – Quit smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. Both smoke and alcohol reduce bone density and hence, make your bone loss rate faster. Women who smoke produce less estrogen and experience menopause earlier and hence, greater chances of osteoporosis.
2. Get appropriate calcium intake- If you are a vegan, don’t worry we still have plenty of calcium-rich food options for you. Calcium recommendation varies from individual. Women and men 19 to 49 years of age, pregnant or breastfeeding women need 1,000mg of calcium per day. Individuals taking corticosteroids, postmenopausal women who aren’t taking estrogen supplements and women and men age 50 and more need 1,200 mg per day.
Calcium-rich food sources are all green leafy vegetables like mustard greens, kale, chard, fenugreek, turnip leaves, pans, colocasia leaves, amaranth leaves, spinach, radish leaves, Chinese cabbage, cauliflower stem, broccoli stems , sesame, chickpeas, tofu, dairy and dairy products, almonds, almond milk, broccoli, watercress, bok choy, chia seeds, amaranth, ragi and mostly all millets, figs, small fish with bones.
3. Did you know vitamin D increases the calcium absorption from food? If you expose to the sun unprotected for 10-15 minutes a day, the body makes 10,000 IU of vitamin D a day. So literally vitamin D costs us nothing. Talk to a doctor about which supplement is best. Vitamin D increases the amount of calcium the body absorbs from foods. Skin cells make vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Other food sources of vitamin D include liver, fish oil, vitamin D fortified milk and other foods and supplements.
4. Exercise- Exercises to strengthen bones. This will assist in maintaining bone mass. Weight-bearing and resistance exercises are especially beneficial. Weight-bearing and resistive exercise for 30 minutes daily, five days a week are usually recommended. You can exercise for 10 minutes to 15 minutes at a time and then take a break.