World Osteoporosis Day: Wake Up Before It’s Too Late
When bones become brittle and weak, they are termed as osteoprotic. The body constantly absorbs and replaces bone tissue. With osteoporosis, new bone creation doesn't keep up with old bone removal. The following is a checklist through which a person can asses if they are having oeteoporosis
1. Fragility-related fractures ie even mild impact causes a fracture of the wrist, back, hip or other bones.
2. Height loss of even over two inches over months or years.
3. Receding gums and loosening of teeth
4. Developing stoop shoulder, hunchback or curvaceous spine
5. Frequent or persistant lower back pain.
Women are more at risk of developing osteoporosis than men because the hormone changes that happen at the menopause directly affect bone density. The female hormone oestrogen is essential for healthy bones. After the menopause, oestrogen levels fall. This can lead to a rapid decrease in bone density.
But it may equally affect men especially if they take excess Alcohol, salt, soft drinks. Hydrogenated oils and foods rich in Vitamin also leads to bone loss. The most common complication of osteoporosis is fracture.
Spinal fractures called as vertebral compression fractures are commonest and occur an estimated 1.5 million times each year in the United States, alone. They are almost twice as common as other fractures typically linked to osteoporosis, such as broken hips, wrists and humerus.
Elderly men and women in adventure sports, or into activities involving twisting spine or bending forward from the waist, such as conventional sit-ups, toe touches, or swinging a golf club, therefore should remain careful. Lifting heavy wieghts, avoiding jerks, tripping, slipping, falling must be prevented once Osteoporosis sets in.
Besides the most important way to prevent and improve Osteoporosis is to improve calcium and Vitamin D.
The daily recommended dose of calcium is approximately 1200 for women aged 51 and older and for men aged 71 and older. The daily recommended dose of Vitamin D is at 400–800 IU/day or 10–20 micrograms. Good dietary sources of calcium and Vitamin D includes dairy products, almonds, broccoli, kale, canned salmon with bones, sardines and soy products, such as tofu.
Vitamin C too helps prevent bone loss and we require it 88 milligrams, a day. Therefore citrus fruits can be very useful to prevent or mend Osteoporosis. Maintaining a healthy life style, regular exercise and Yoga are equally important. Walking too greatly improves bone density. While those who can should jog, climb or even dance, must do so.
Romosozumab is the newest bone-building modern medication to treat osteoporosis given as an injection every month. But lot of its complications have been reported such as heart attack, stroke, new or unusual pain in thigh, hip or groin, jaw pain or numbness, red or swollen gums, loose teeth, infected gums etc.
Therefore it is safe to take Homeopathic medicines as they just not increase serum calcium levels but also improve gut uptake of calcium and Vitamin D and its assimilation and absorption. This is important as often calcium or iron supplements fail to improve their level in patients. Increasing doses cause various troubles including gastric discomfort, constipation and loose motions.
Silicea, Calcarea carb, Calcarea phos, Calcarea flour, Phosphorus, Symphytum etc all improve Osteoporosis and are safe. But they should be taken after proper consultation with a registered medical practioner.
(The author is Director Homeopathy, Govt of Uttar Pradesh)