Stop those bones from turning brittle


Brittle bones aren’t just a problem of old age, the damage can start much earlier. Osteoporosis is today considered a severe lifestyle disease caused by among other factors - high levels of stress, which makes the body produce cortisol hormone resulting in bone loss.

Smoking, drinking and laziness combined with unhealthy and low-calcium diets are all causes of soaring cases of osteoporosis. The calcium storage in our bodies, especially that of women, begins to decrease as early as mid-20s and 30s. So it’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle during these years.

Dr Rajeev K Sharma, Senior Consultant, Orthopedics and Joint Replacement Surgeon in Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, says, “Osteoporosis affects the bone structure of a person and makes it weak. When we are young, the body absorbs calcium more efficiently. But as the body ages, calcium reserves are depleted and this makes the bones brittle.”
Deficiency of Vitamin D also leads to weaker bones.

Women in particular, need to take proper care of bones with additional intake of calcium. “Young women usually concentrate more on looks and not on their health. This imposes a serious threat on their health, who actually should start working smart by adding foods containing calcium and Vitamin D in their regular diets,” adds Rajeev.

Another issue which can aggravate bone problems is high heels, which put too much stress on the heel bone, the tissues surrounding it and weight-bearing joints like knees. And that stress can result in injuries while walking.

Daily wearing of heels can lead to tendinitis, bursitis and fasciitis, which are all types of inflammation of the tissues which surround your heel. Over time, the stress can cause bone spurs and deformities too. Certain diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and gout, can also lead to heel problems. Treatments for heel problems include rest, medicines, exercises and special shoes. Surgery is rarely needed.

Healthy bones require regular exercise, no smoking, no alcohol as well as supplementary multi-vitamin tablets. Woman should ideally consume at least a 1,000 mg of calcium, which can be found in low-fat dairy products such as semi-skimmed or double-toned milk and yoghurt and bony fish like tinned salmon and sardines.

Eating leafy green vegetables such as broccoli and spinach is also beneficial. Dry fruits such as figs and currants and breakfast cereals fortified with calcium are also good sources. A teaspoon of white sesame seeds can also be chewed just ahead of breakfast. Sesame is an excellent source of calcium and if chewed properly, gets absorbed the maximum in the body.

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