Osteoporosis is developed when there is an imbalance between the formation of bones and loss of bones in the body. It can be treated by consuming calcium-rich foods and/or their supplements. This article provides some information on the same.
Osteoporosis is a diseased condition, characterized by weak and fragile bones. In general, bones are weakened due to the lack of calcium and other essential bone minerals. The wrist, spine, and hip bones are more likely to be affected due to this bone disorder. It can occur in any age group; however, it is more common among older women. It is estimated that about half of women and quarter of men, who are above 50 years develop this medical condition.
The symptoms are not distinct, and it can be present without any noticeable signs or be asymptomatic for several years. Hence, it is often referred to as a ‘silent disease’. In fact, a majority of the affected people come to know about their diseased condition only after a painful bone fracture. Diagnosis of the same is done by conducting a bone mineral density test, and imaging tests like ultrasound and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). There are certain risk factors for causing this disorder, such as aging, low bone mass (osteopenia), side effects of drugs, and having a family history affected by the same.
This medical condition requires treatment as soon as possible, as an untreated condition can lead to bone fracture. Spine fracture can cause chronic back pain and at times, loss of height. A fracture is called a stress fracture or minimal trauma, if it occurs while performing normal day-to-day activities. Calcium plays a major role in treatment of this condition. To be more precise, its increased deposition strengthens the bones and restores the bone density.
For this treatment, dietary calcium supplements are recommended. In case of adults, the amount of daily requirements of the same may range from 1000-1500 mg. However, one should not take the supplements of more than 600 mg at a time. It is to be noted that doses should be equally distributed throughout the day; since, calcium absorption is minimum, if taken in higher quantity at a time. Research studies have revealed that it is optimally absorbed when taken along with food.
One of the most commonly prescribed supplements is calcium carbonate. Though majority of the affected people can digest it, some may have gastrointestinal problems. In such cases, they should consult the concerned physician to prescribe another alternative supplement. Other supplements of the same include calcium citrate, calcium lactate, coral calcium, antacids, and calcium chelates. The required dose of each supplement differs based on the severity of the diseased condition and the affected person.
In general, these supplements contain vitamin D to some extent. It is due to the fact that vitamin D indirectly enhances calcium absorption, by synthesizing intestinal proteins, responsible for the purpose of absorption of the same by the body. In severe cases, this treatment is done by administering medications under the prescription of a qualified physician. For post menopausal women having osteoporosis, the physician may prescribe hormone therapy. One should discuss the pros and cons of the medications before administering for them for treatment purposes.
According to a survey conducted, it is shown that the affected people developed strong bones after the regular intake of food rich in calcium. These include milk, orange juice, and soy beans. An affected person should minimize alcohol consumption, quit smoking, and reduce caffeine intake. To prevent this medical condition and/or bone fracture, it is advisable to exercise regularly and include foods rich in calcium as well as vitamin D in the diet.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.