Prevent Osteoporosis in 30’s, 40’s and 50’s
Osteoporosis, commonly known as weakening of bones is synonymous with women above 50 years of age, but the latest trend shows that it can strike as early as 30’s, and that too, not just in women but also in men.
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Prevent Osteoporosis in 30’s, 40’s and 50’s
Prevent Osteoporosis in 30’s, 40’s and 50’s
Osteoporosis, commonly known as weakening of bones is synonymous with women above 50
years of age, but the latest trend shows that it can strike as early as 30’s, and that too, not just
in women but also in men.
One in three women and one in five men above 50 years of age around the world carry the
chance of being affected by osteoporosis. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it
is recognised as the third most common prevalent disease in India.
A disabling disease, it weakens bones and causes fractures which can result in severe disability.
Although it can affect any bone it is most likely to cause a hip or spinal break. These breaks will
require hospitalization and sometimes surgery. Spinal breaks can also lead to some serious
problems including permanent pain in the back and a curvature of the spine.
“Diagnosis is often difficult, until there is a bone fracture. Some of the signs to look out for are
swelling around joints, painful joints, difficulty in sitting, walking or bending and change in one’s
posture and fragility fracture (fracture after a minor fall). An X-ray and bone density
measurement is done to confirm a diagnosis. Osteoporosis can be detected through an X-ray
only after 30 percent of the bone calcium is already lost”, says Dr. Anil Raheja, Sr. Consultant -
Orthopaedics & Spine, Nova Specialty Hospitals, Karol Bagh.
To figure out risk of getting a fracture over the next 10 years, the World Health Organization
has introduced a tool called FRAX. Simply enter your age, height and weight, then answer a few
questions about your family history and lifestyle to get recommendations for treatment.
Early 30s, is the best time to start taking precautionary measures to prevent osteoporosis.
Calcium is the key ingredient for healthy bones and one should ensure an optimum intake of
daily calcium through calcium supplements or by adding low fat yoghurt and low fat cheese to
diet. It’s also important to keep salt and caffeine in check, as an excess of either can promote
Apart from that, Vitamin D is also required as it helps the body absorb calcium. Spending time
outdoors in the sunshine can help in gaining the required amount of vitamin D for the body.
Keeping weight in check by focusing on daily exercising like lifting weights and walking with
weights in your hands is also a very good way to strengthen one’s bones. As hereditary plays a
big role in assessing your risk, 30’s is the best time to check family history and start consulting a
doctor, check family history and start getting a bone density check up to prevent loss in bone
mineral density. Lifestyle habits such as smoking hampers the work of bone-building cells and
increases risk of developing osteoporosis, while excessive alcohol consumption (more than two
drinks a day) can lead to an increased risk of hip and other osteoporotic fractures.
The next phase in life that is the 40’s, are central in determining a healthy future. For this
phase, experts recommend including strength training besides maintaining the regular routine
of atleast 30 minutes of physical activity a day, like walking, gardening, swimming, tennis or
even dancing. Dr. Raheja adds, “Osteoporosis can occur at any age, and for a variety of reasons.
An active lifestyle helps build bone health by increasing muscle mass, strength, balance and
coordination. It’s also important to consider other health risks such as diabetes, depression and
intestinal disorders as they also have an impact on bone health. Some medications as well as
intense medical treatments, like chemotherapy, can alter your body’s ability to absorb calcium.
So it’s best to get a complete health check up done before starting any health routine.”
The period of 50’s is a transition phase in the life of an individual, especially for women as it is
the beginning of menopause for them. Experts stress that 3 to 5 years following a menopause
are the most crucial in terms of bone density loss. Women in their 50s should up their vitamin
and calcium intake. After menopause, the body loses estrogen, and this is a prime risk factor for
osteoporosis. Such women can benefit from a low-dose estrogen patch or drugs which mimic
the effect of estrogen in the bone.
Overall, by making simple changes in lifestyle, going for early detection and timely treatment
one can go a long way in preventing osteoporosis and decreasing the risk of future fractures.
Courtesy: Nova Specialty Hospitals. For more information/ appointments, please contact: