Lifestyle disorders – Awareness and Prevention

March 16, 2010 at 1:06 pm Leave a comment

A 2008 World Health Organization and World Economic report heralded the beginning of an alarming trend in developing countries like Brazil, Russia, India and China. They are going to lose more and more productive life years to lifestyle disorders.  The report also warns that unless this unhealthy trend is tackled on war footing, India will lose a whooping $236.6 billion by 2015 due to death or sufferings caused by lifestyle disorders originating from unhealthy lifestyles and faulty diet.

Osteoporosis

The biggest contributor to the increase in lifestyle based disorders in urban population is lack of awareness and seriousness about maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  We do not even blink to spend thousands on a weekend party with friends but would crib and hesitate to fulfill the nutritional gap by way of balanced diet, exercise and supplements.

India is already the diabetes world capital. According to the WHO and WER report, 10 percent of India’s population already suffers from hypertension- the precursor to heart attack.

However, India is facing a major threat from yet another lifestyle disorder which is relatively unknown – Osteoporosis.  It is this threat that want to focus on in this article.

We all are at risk of developing osteoporosis.  Anyone above the age of 22 can develop osteoporosis if they do not take proper nutrition that provides enough calcium to the body.  In India a large number of people are already affected by Osteoporosis.  At a personal level, l rate it the number one lifestyle disorder in India.  We all are still blissfully ignorant about it and more so there is no major awareness around us to educate us about this dreadful disorder.

Osteoporosis is called a silent killer and rightly so because a person does not realize that he or she is Osteoporotic as there is no visible change in the body or its functions. There is so much calcium within the bones that 700 – 800 mg withdrawn daily does not matter much as far as symptoms are concerned. 

A person suddenly realizes that he / she is osteoporotic when there is a fall that results in broken bones. It is only when the injured bone is screened that the person finds out that he / she has a dangerously low level of Calcium.  A borderline level of Calcium deficiency in the body means osteopenia while a clear deficiency of Calcium in the bones makes one Osteoporotic.    In extreme cases disfiguring of bone structure or deformity may happen but in most cases there is no visible change.

In some cases the bone density is reduced to such an extent that people’s rib cages have fractured just by sneezing.  At this juncture, it becomes very difficult to join the broken bone because it is too thin or porous to be joined or fixed again.  An osteoporotic person may enjoy perfectly normal life until the bones break.  And when it does break, the porosity of the bone delays or affects the healing process.

Combating lifestyle disorders like Osteoporosis can be boiled down to a simple mathematical calculation. An adult body needs approx 1000 mg of calcium daily. If you do not provide it by nutrition or calcium supplements then it will take the balance from your bones.  Awareness is the first step, taking appropriate calcium supplement is the next.  

One more important factor we need to be aware of is that there is no such specific dosage or period to be on calcium supplements.  Till the time one needs to maintain the bone health, 1000mg of calcium is required daily for the body.  A single day missed means an open invitation for the body to draw the required calcium from our bones.

Taking regular supplements does not show any visible result but it acts at a physiological level by keeping your bones healthy and intact for a longer duration since you are providing enough calcium in the form of nutrition to your body.

Fighting Lifestyle disorders like Osteoporosis is a daily task.  You cannot afford to remain slack for even a single day.  The more vigilant and careful you are the better is your chance to ensure a healthy life free from the far reaching effects of lifestyle disorders.

Get your bone mineral density checked today to ascertain the risk of osteoporosis.  Care for yourself so you can be fit enough to care for your family and live an active lifestyle.

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