Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue, leading to bone fragility. It is called a ‘silent disease’ because it progresses without symptoms or pain until a fracture occurs, usually in the hip, spine, wrist or shoulder. It can lead to pain, disability and, in some cases, even death.
One in 2 women and 1 in 5 men will sustain an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime. It is more common in Pakistan due to malnutrition, lack of knowledge. Fractures from osteoporosis are more common than heart attack, stroke and breast cancer combined. A woman's risk of developing an osteoporosis-related fracture is equal to her combined risk of developing breast, uterine, and ovarian cancer.
· Are a postmenopausal woman.
· Have a calcium-deficient diet.
· Have a family history of osteoporosis.
· Are thin, petite woman.
· Are sedentary
Several lifestyle choices can help to reduce your chances of suffering this disease. Eating a well-balanced diet, supplementing your diet with calcium supplements and participating in weight-bearing exercises such as walking, jogging, biking, hiking, rowing and jumping rope can all reduce your chances of osteoporosis.
Although osteoporosis mainly affects women but men are also susceptible though less than women. And 1 in 8 men over the age of 50 suffer fractures related to this disease. Warning signs in men include a change in posture or sudden back pain. However, the most common way osteoporosis is diagnosed in men is by loss of height or a fracture.
After age 65 to 70, men and women lose bone mass at about the same rate. While hip fractures in this age group are more common in women, they are often more serious in men. Men have a 26% higher death rate within a year after a hip fracture than women.
A common misconception among women worried about osteoporosis is that they may be past the age when taking Calcium would be helpful. Scientific studies have shown that even mature postmenopausal women can benefit from greater calcium intake.
And if you're in your 30s, having more calcium in your diet is especially important to your health. That's because of bone mass peaks in your mid-30s and then slowly declines with age.