Osteoporosis is a disease in which bone mineral density is reduced leading to an increased risk of fracture. It is referred to as a “silent killer” because bone loss occurs progressively without any symptoms.
Osteoporosis-related fractures most commonly occur in the hip, wrist or spine. In the Philippines, hip fractures are the leading cause of osteoporosis-related fractures. It was estimated that there were about 28,000 hip fractures in 2003 and 34,000 in 2005. The numbers are expected to reach 65,000 by the years 2020 and almost 175,000 by the year 2050.
A 2003 survey based on Osteoporosis Self Assessment Tool for Asians (OSTA) Suggested that 11.23% of women and 8.97% of men over 50 are high risk for osteoporosis; the risk increased markedly with advancing age. Although associated with old age, bone loss can affect younger people as well.
Prevention is the key to treating osteoporosis
The best way to help prevent weak bones is by starting with good exercise and healthy eating habits. Do regular weight-bearing exercises, drink alcohol in moderation and don’t smoke. Be aware of personal risk factors affecting bone health such as family history, certain medications and chronic disorders.
Consult your doctor to ensure the adequate intake of calcium and vitamin D as required by the body.
Other sources of calcium include leafy vegetables, soy products, low-fat dairy products and orange juice. The body gets vitamin D from sunlight and some food sources such as salmon, mackerel, milk fortified with vitamin D, egg yolks, cheese, etc.