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Bone pains? It could be osteoporosis!

Image of bone loss/osteoporosis caused due to lack of nutrients

By Dr. Khoobsurat Najma

About 50 million people in India have osteoporosis or low bone mass. 80% of urban Indian population is vitamin D deficient.

What is osteoporosis?

Bone is composed of tissue and mineral. In osteoporosis, there is loss of both mineral and tissue. Osteoporosis weakens the bone and results in frequent fractures (breaks) in the bones.

  • Osteoporosis can strike at any age.
  • Osteoporosis affects both men and women.
  • Women and men equally begin to lose bone mass in their mid-30s, after menopause women have faster bone loss.

Risk factors

Most important risk factor is Menopause.

Other risk factors:

  • Women are at higher risk than men
  • Family history
  • Small body frame
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Calcium and Vitamin D deficiency
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Excessive alcohol intake
  • Smoking,
  • Certain medications (heparin, anti-seizure medications and long-term use of oral steroids)

Symptoms

There are no symptoms in early stages. Once bones are weakened, symptoms include:

  • Backache
  • Loss of height over time
  • Stooped posture
  • Bone fracture that occurs easily: Most common fracture sites are wrist, spine, shoulder and hips

Diagnosis

  • Bone mineral density scan (X ray) called DEXA (Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) scan
  • Blood tests: serum Vitamin D, calcium, phosphorus, alkaline phosphatase and parathyroid hormone

Screening for osteoporosis

  • Screening is recommended for:
    • Women > 65 years
    • Postmenopausal women < 65 years at risk for osteoporotic fractures
  • Screening is done using DEXA scan
  • Density is measured by T-score.
  • T-score < -2.5 indicates osteoporosis.
  • T-score -1 to-2.5 indicates milder form of disease and high risk for osteoporosis.
  • In patients with negative results, DEXA scan be repeated every 2 years.

Prevention

  • Building strong bones is the best defense against osteoporosis
  • Encourage children to drink milk and play in the sun to ensure adequate calcium, vitamin D synthesis and exercise.
  • Take diet rich in protein and calcium along with calcium supplements.
  • Spend 10-15 minutes in sun every day to help body produce Vitamin D.
  • Vitamin D is found in eggs, milk and oily fish.
  • Exercise daily (30 minutes) to strengthen bones. Even those with osteoporosis  can benefit by regular exercise.
  • Take stairs to strengthen bones and improve bone mass.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Limit alcohol intake.
  • Although bone loss is part of ageing, it can be stopped by medications that prevent further bone loss.

Treatment

  • Medications that prevent further bone loss
  • Calcium, Vitamin D supplements
  • Hormone replacement therapy for postmenopausal osteoporosis
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57 thoughts on “Bone pains? It could be osteoporosis!

  1. Balbir Singh

    My wife is having this problem. She has severe pain at the tail bone. If youcan suggest some solution

  2. prakash jain

    This very very good informative and usefull tips.
    If possible please send the information of relation between psoriasis and osteoporosis.
    Prakash jain 9819704431

    1. Dr. Khoobsurat Najma Post author

      Mr Prakash, thanks a lot for your feedback. We shall post info on the topic suggested by you very soon

  3. bharati mattikop

    I am a osteopenia patient n vitamin d3 deficient n calcium deficient . Plz can u suggest som medication.

    1. Dr. Khoobsurat Najma Post author

      Bharati, you need to undergo thorough evaluation by a specialist. on the basis of your age and Bone DEXA scan, your doctor will start medications. in addition you can start an exercise program after consulting your doctor.

  4. geet

    My daughter never drink milk she like to take only in the form of cold coffee what should i do?

    1. Dr. Khoobsurat Najma Post author

      Geet, try making milk shakes for her like banana smoothies or mango shakes. introduce milk to her in a fun way so that she gets nutrition as well as good taste.

  5. Nitin Shah

    can u suggest calcium rich vegetables,fruit,grain,dry fruit etc. to meet daily need for adult vegetarian

    1. Dr. Khoobsurat Najma Post author

      Mr Nitin, natural sources of calcium include milk and other dairy products, such as hard cheese, cottage cheese, or yogurt, as well as green vegetables, orka or bhindi, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, sprouts,green beans, pulses, soyabean, dried figs and almonds.

  6. Dharmendra Chhatar

    Thanks for this useful information. And eager to read your all information in future. Kindly provide information about the treatment of Avascular Necrosis (AVN) in advance stage (stage IV)

    1. Dr Bahrudeen

      Hi
      Treatment for AVN Stage 4 is Total hip Replacement. Based on age , physical activity and bone quality it can be either cemented or uncemented. Usage of metal or polyethelene or ceramic implants depends on your budget.
      Regards.,
      Dr.Bahrudeen
      Consultant Orthopedic surgeon

      1. 1mg

        Hi Dr. Bahrudeen,

        We are always looking to add great doctors to our panel of experts. We would love to have a chat with you. Can we have your number?

    2. Dr. Khoobsurat Najma Post author

      Mr Dharmendra, Thanks a lot for your feedback. We shall surely provide info on the topic suggested by you very soon.

  7. Pankaj Goel

    Great knowledge given by you.

    Suggestion: Translate all articles in hindi also so that everyone understand & take benefit.

    1. Dr. Khoobsurat Najma Post author

      Mr Pankaj, thank you for your feedback. we shall surely take your suggestion into consideration.

  8. Sharad Shah

    Am 74 years and have been suffering from this disease last 2 years. Wearing waist belt. Taking vitamin supplements. Don’t have very active lifestyle but go out for 3 hours on social work. Don’t drink or never smoked. What is suggested please?

    1. Dr. Khoobsurat Najma Post author

      Mr Sharad, try and include calcium rich foods into your diet. You can consult your doctor for medications that will stop further bone loss in your body.

  9. shailesh Thakker (D.pharm)

    This information is very useful for medical averse to every person THANKS A LOT

  10. Ramesh Kewalramani

    Very Interesting and Informative.PlsHelp me to Check some of my problems and Remedies out.
    1. I am 74 years old. Have left Knee Osterprosis.
    2.walk as Regularly as possible once a day in the evening for abot 25/30mins about 2.5/3 kms. But with a knee cap. Its painful to start with but subsisides as you keep walking.
    4. Consume Supplements of Shellcal 500 twice daily. And Calcerol once a week.
    5. Consume Carrotts Cucumbers Tomatoes. Spinsch. Sprouts..
    6. Do Yoga for the forefingers wrist shoulders and for prevention of spondylitis. Is there anything furyher i should do. Would be grateful. Thank you.Rgds.

    1. Dr. Khoobsurat Najma Post author

      Mr Ramesh, you seem to be taking good care of your bones. I would suggest you to consult your doctor for a fresh DEXA scan and if required start medications to stop further bone loss.

  11. anuj agrawal

    Please give this type of important knoledge us to know how we prevent in future problem

  12. vipul mistry

    Thanks a lot Dr najma for the information pls keep updated with all the health care information..

  13. Vivek Bhuwania

    Dr najma you are doing a great appreciable job about the awareness for our health and fruitful future.
    Keep updating likewise.
    I will be very thankful to you.

    1. Dr. Khoobsurat Najma Post author

      Mr Vivek, Thanks a lot for your appreciation and encouragement. Our aim is to keep our users well aware and informed about their health and wellness.

  14. Dr Sunil P Ratnani

    Really informative.
    Specially terminology used easy to understand even for a non medico.

  15. Bhujang Nandkhile

    मै.AVN का पेशंट हु .नया Hip Implant
    MDM 3X के बारेमे जानकारी बताने से बडी मेहरबानी .होगी.

  16. Nagesh

    Thanks for the tips and help.

    Is there a permanent remedy for bone/ cartilage degeneration as my parents and we the siblings (all) are experiencing from the age of 45-50. We are non alcoholic, non smokers with having good nutritious food. Is it heredity?