What is Osteoporosis?
It is a major and growing health problem in the developing countries. Osteoporosis is characterized by diminution of bone mass, weakening of bone structure and increasing the risk of fracture. The bones become so fragile that even a hearty sneeze can cause them to break.
What Causes Osteoporosis?
There are several risk factors for osteoporosis that have been identified in Pakistani women. Some of them are:
- advancing age
- family history
- prolonged lactation
- low intake of calcium and vitamin D
- menopause before 45 years of age
- prolonged amenorrhea
- poor intestinal absorption of calcium
- excessive caffeine intake
- lactose intolerance
- inactive lifestyle
- prolonged treatment with thyroid hormones
- low body mass index
- poor socio-economic condition
- lack of awareness and illiteracy
Developing countries like Pakistan continue to be unprepared to handle the burden of the ailment. This coupled with lack of education and awareness on the risk factors and symptoms of osteoporosis ends up in poor results.
According to a recent study, Pakistani women with higher socioeconomic status have considerably better awareness and knowledge of osteoporosis than women with a low socioeconomic status, regardless of age. Hence, to reduce the risk of osteoporosis, prevention awareness programs must be organized to spread the awareness on this issue on grass-root level and save the women from this life-threatening disease.
It is very important to know more about all the aspects of osteoporosis risk factors and to attain healthy habits to lessen the risk of low bone mass.
The knowledge on osteoporosis among Pakistani women is very limited and the information is poorly internalized. Therefore, to prevent the disease, you must fully understand osteoporosis concerning the risk factors and preventive behaviors.
Following are some of the aspects of osteoporosis prevention that you must know:
1. The regularity and type of physical exercise.
2. Diet-related risk factors, including insufficient consumption of phosphorus, calcium and vitamin D; also the bad effects of caffeine or low-calcium drinks instead of milk or milk-based drinks.
3. The significance of scrutinizing menstruation occurrence, since normal menstrual cycles are important for sustaining normal bone metabolism.
Natural Cures for Osteoporosis
1. Calcium is one of the most important nutrients in curing and treating osteoporosis. It improves your bone health. Try to get 1000 to 1300 mg of calcium on daily basis. The best choices to get calcium include milk, yogurt, cheese, soybeans, collard greens, white beans, spinach, oranges, sesame seeds and almonds.
2. Calcium relies in Vitamin D to absorb in your bones. Vitamin D can be produced by your body with the help of sunlight. Beside that, the best food sources for it are fatty fish, milk, soy milk, yogurt, mushrooms grown under UV and egg yolks. You may also take multivitamins that contain vitamin D.
3. Studies have revealed that deficiency of protein can accelerate bone loss. But this doesn’t mean that you should start consuming excessive amount of protein, it may be harmful. Hence, if you are a dieter, never opt for a high-protein/low carb fad diets. You should enjoy only moderate amounts of proteins. The best sources for protein include lean meats, seafood, egg whites, milk, yogurt, cheeses, beans, legumes, almonds and peanut butter.
4. Other important nutrients that protect you from osteoporosis include,
- magnesium (sources: pumpkin seeds, brown rice, spinach, cashews, sweet potatoes, beans, sesame seeds, flaxseed, wheat germ etc)
- potassium (sources: apricots, papayas, bananas, plums, raisins, avocados, artichokes, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, beans, almonds, and pistachios etc)
- vitamin K (sources: green–leafy veggies like lettuce, and spinach)
- Vitamin C (sources: strawberries, oranges, lemons, grapefruit, guava, pineapple, raspberries, mangoes, lychees, bell peppers, hot chili peppers, sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage,tomatoes etc)
No doubt, food is nature’s best medicine. Therefore, the intake of healthy food can treat and cure osteoporosis and improve your overall health.