October 20 : World Osteoporosis Day

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A day dedicated to the cause of creating global awareness on diagnosis and prevention of Osteoporosis – a dangerous bone disorderthat can leave one crippled for life if ignored -World Osteoporosis Day is observed on the 20th of October, every year.

Osteoporosis, which means “porous bones”, is a disorder that weakens bones from within, making it thin, sponge-like and extremely susceptible to fractures. According to health experts, millions of people suffer from Osteoporosis and the numbers, unfortunately, are fast increasing. What’s really scary about this condition is that there are no visible symptoms and one might not be aware until a fracture happens.

Though Osteoporosis occurs in both men and women at any age, it is seen more in women – especially those who have hit menopause.

The reasons for Osteoporosis are many:

  • Gender - women are affected by Osteoporosis more than men
  • Age - the older one gets, greater is the risk of getting Osteoporosis
  • Body size - thin women fall under the high-risk category
  • Ethnicity – Asians & whites aremore prone to this condition
  • Family history of Osteoporosis
  • Low estrogen levels due to irregular/missed menstrual periods or menopause
  • Low testosterone levels can cause osteoporosis in men
  • Low Calcium and Vitamin D intake
  • Certain medicines that increase the risk of osteoporosis
  • Lack of exercise or long-term bed rest can lead to weak bones
  • Smoking& drinking

Osteoporosis is treatable, provided it is diagnosed at a treatable stage. Hence it is mandatory for every person above 40 to get their bone strength checked and also make some healthy changes in his/her lifestyle like adopting a Calcium & Vitamin D rich diet, regular exercising and controlled drinking and smokingto keep this serious health threat at bay.