Doctor Sanjiv my mum was recently diagnosed postmenopausal osteoporosis?What is it and how to prevent osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is one of the main causes of weak and brittle bones.In simple terms ,the production and maintenance of bone health and strength is affected in this condition.Osteoporosis occurs when the creation of new bone doesn’t keep up with the loss of old bone.

There many types of osteoporosis in which the most common is Type 1 (Primary ) or post menopausal osteoprosis.Primary Osteoporosis is associated with the process of normal aging.Estrogen and progesterone are two hormones that play important roles in regulating the rate at which bone is lost. Estrogen controls the osteoclasts (breaks bone down) and progesterone influences osteoblasts to make new bone. Other hormones also play a role although not as significant.

Hence in primary osteoporosis ,due to changes in female sex hormones or lack of estrogen ,bones become brittle and even mild stresses may cause a fracture.Osteoporosis-related fractures most commonly occur in the hip, wrist or spine.

Although osteoporosis affects men and women of all races. But white and Asian women — especially older women who are past menopause — are at highest risk.

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How do I confirm my mum has osteoporosis?

First foremost osteoporosis needs to be diagnosed by authorised medical officer with expertises in the area.The gold standard in diagnosing the condition is by The DEXA Scan which is the clinical gold standard for measuring fat, muscle, and bone density.

A DEXA Scan (Dual-Enerxy X-ray Absorptiometry), uses two different types of waves that are reflected by lean muscle, and bone differently. The scanner uses this information to create a detailed map of your body and measure your body composition.

It is outpatient procedure that is non invasive,quick and relatively cheap less than RM200 to be done.

What Can I do now to help prevent further bone loss or strengthen already weak bones?

Medications, healthy diet and weight-bearing exercise can help prevent bone loss or strengthen already weak bones.

Healthy Diet

Simply Increase protien intake .Protein is one of the building blocks of bone.Most people get plenty of protein in their diets, but some do not.Vegetarians and vegans can get enough protein in the diet if they intentionally seek suitable sources, such as soy, nuts, legumes, seeds for vegans and vegetarians, and dairy and eggs for vegetarians.

Body Weight

Maintaining ideal body weight is important as underweight and overweight causes increase chances of brittle bone fracture.Balancing a healthy lifestyle ,proper diet and exercise will help prevent further complication in treatment of osteoporosis.

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Calcium rich products

Men and women between the ages of 18 and 50 need 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day. This daily amount increases to 1,200 milligrams when women turn 50 and men turn 70.

Good sources of calcium include:

Low-fat dairy products
Dark green leafy vegetables
Canned salmon or sardines with bones
Soy products, such as tofu
Calcium-fortified milk ,cereals and orange juice

Vitamin D

Vitamin D improves your body’s ability to absorb calcium and improves bone health in other ways. People can get some of their vitamin D from sunlight, but this might not be a good source if you live in a high latitude or if you’re housebound.

To get enough vitamin D to maintain bone health, it’s recommended that adults ages 51 to 70 get 600 international units (IU) and 800 IU a day after age 70 through food or supplements.

People without other sources of vitamin D and especially with limited sun exposure might need a supplement. Most multivitamin products contain between 600 and 800 IU of vitamin D. Up to 4,000 IU of vitamin D a day is safe for most people.

Some best sources of natural rich food would include salmon ,sardines,shrimp and cod liver oils.For vegetarians fortified foods like milk,yogurt,orange juice and cereals are good options.

A good ten minutes walk at dawn is usually more then enough to get Vitamin D from sunlight in Malaysian shores.

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Exercise

Exercise is the single best way to improve longeivity and overall welbeing especially in old age.

Combine strength training exercises with weight-bearing and balance exercises.Strength training helps strengthen muscles and bones in your arms and upper spine.Weight-bearing exercises — such as walking, jogging, running, stair climbing, skipping rope, skiing plus impact-producing sports — affect mainly the bones in your legs, hips and lower spine.Balance exercises such as tai chi can reduce your risk of falling especially as you get older.

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Osteoporotic medication

These are pharmaceutical agents used specifically to limit or reduce bone loss and prevent further deteoration of bone strength.

Currently, no treatment can completely reverse established osteoporosis. Early intervention can prevent osteoporosis in most people. For patients with established osteoporosis, medical intervention can halt its progression.

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All details here are for information basis only and should not be used without consult of a licienced medical officer.

If you like to further discuss options of treatment of Osteoporosis please feel free to whatsapp the number below or book an appointment to see Dr Sanjiv Rampal or drop a email on rampalsurgeryios@gmail.com.

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