Can a lot of calcium supplements help to keep osteoporosis at bay? Expert debunks 6 myths
Does drinking milk and regularly exercising reduce osteoporosis risk? Can opting for lot of calcium supplements keep osteoporosis at bay? Expert debunks 6 myths
Osteoporosis is a condition that affects the strength and density of our bones, making them more prone to fractures. It is often known as a silent disease because it can progress without any noticeable symptoms but although it commonly affects older individuals, it is not exclusive to them and can occur at any age.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Pramod Bhor, Director of Orthopedics and Robotic Joint Replacement Surgeon at Fortis Hospital in Vashi, revealed, “One interesting aspect of osteoporosis is that it disproportionately affects women, especially those who have reached menopause. This is due to the hormonal changes that occur during this phase of a woman's life, which can lead to accelerated bone loss. Lack of exercise and sedentarism can weaken bones over time, as physical activity stimulates bone strengthening. Moreover, poor nutritional choices can undermine bone health as well.”
He added, “A diet deficient in calcium and vitamin D deprives the bones of essential nutrients needed for their growth and maintenance. Furthermore, excessive alcohol consumption and smoking have been shown to impair bone density due to their detrimental effects on the body's ability to absorb calcium efficiently. However, recent research suggests that men are also at risk of developing osteoporosis, albeit at a later age compared to women.”
Highlighting that one of the early signs of osteoporosis is a loss in height or a stooped posture, Dr Pramod Bhor explained, “This occurs when the bones in the spine weaken over time and begin to collapse or compress. Another symptom is recurring fractures after minimal trauma or even from everyday activities like stepping down from a curb or sneezing too forcefully. These fractures most commonly occur in the hip, wrist, or spine and can lead to chronic pain, limited mobility, and even disability if left untreated. It is the need of the hour to clear all the misconceptions related to this condition and seek timely intervention.”
He debunked 6 myths for a better understanding of this health condition -
Myth #1: Osteoporosis affects only elderly women
Fact: People of all races and ages, including men, can develop osteoporosis.
Myth #2: Breaking a bone from a serious fall or accident does not exempt you from worrying about osteoporosis
Fact: In fact, for individuals above the age of 50, broken bones can be an initial indication of low bone density or osteoporosis. Such fractures are often linked to osteoporosis.
Myth #3: The weakening of bones in individuals with osteoporosis is not always detectable
Fact: Osteoporosis is commonly referred to as a silent disease because breaking a bone is frequently the first indication that one has this condition. Some people only discover they have osteoporosis after experiencing height loss due to one or more spinal fractures, which may occur without noticeable pain.
Myth #4: Drinking milk and regularly exercising will reduce the risk of osteoporosis
Fact: Having a large quantity of milk and engaging in exercise does not guarantee immunity against osteoporosis. Despite having ample milk and exercising regularly, one can still be susceptible to osteoporosis due to various risk factors such as smoking and inflammation in the body.
Myth #5: Osteoporosis is not a trivial matter
Fact: Fractures caused by osteoporosis can be excruciatingly painful and have severe consequences. These fractures can impact physical, mental, and emotional well-being, and in extreme cases, even lead to fatality. It is crucial to take preventive measures throughout life to safeguard bone health.
Myth #6: Opting for a lot of calcium supplements can help to keep osteoporosis at bay
Fact: Taking additional calcium supplements does not effectively prevent osteoporosis. Ingesting more calcium than necessary does not offer any additional advantages. To determine if a supplement is necessary for you, assess the amount of calcium obtained from your daily food intake. Additionally, ascertain the recommended daily calcium intake for your needs by taking the help of an expert. Do not go overboard on calcium supplements.