20 October, New Delhi
Bones in India are becoming increasingly fragile due to osteoporosis, the disease eating into the vitals that firm them up. Osteoporotic people do not know as to what body movement can cause fractures.
Osteoporotic fractures catch them unawares. Just a simple trip in the washroom can result into long bone fracture. An innocuous yawn or stretching can precipitate fractures. There are other causes of fractures too but this disease has claimed maximum number of fractures.
According to experts, fractures caused by osteoporosis must be pre- empted because they are not easy to manage. Osteoporotic fractures drastically cut short the life span of lot of patients. The good news is the variety of treatments available in the market now that can avert these fractures to a significant extent.
Many studies done in India have found that more than half of people having met fractures due to osteoporosis do not survive even a year. So keeping fractures at bay is the only best option available. These fractures will make patients bed ridden, which in turn, can cause many other problems. Osteoporosis Society of India notes that, in India, most cases of osteoporosis go undiagnosed and untreated.
Dr. Aashish Chaudhry a well known Orthopaedic Surgeon and Managing Director, Aakash Healthcare said, “The number of osteoporosis cases and fractures occurring due to this problem is steadily increasing and it is indicative of the fact that India is suffering from osteoporotic epidemic. If timely intervention is not done, it would result in massive number of osteoporosis crippled people. As age advances, we continuously need to assess the state of bones through densitometer screening. The proverb- a stitch in time saves nine- most applies on osteoporotic patients. So we stress on preventing fractures and they are medicines available now to do that.”
Dr. Chaudhry further said, “Osteoporotic patients’ are vulnerable to falls. In such events, hips and wrists are most susceptible. A study estimated five lakhs osteoporotic patients and found that among them two lakhs found to have suffered hip fractures and three lakhs wrist fracture. These data indicate how much osteoporosis is wreaking havoc on Indian bones.”
Indians are more at risk of developing the disease due to low peak bone mass, poor calcium and vitamin D. It is fallacy to think that age is the only risk causing osteoporosis. It is not at all an old age disorder. If we do not take adequate calcium packed diet including dairy products and vitamin D supplements, osteoporosis occurs quite early. Women are more prone to this disorder and succumb to it between 50-58 years. In case of men, it comes late, say, 65-70 years.
Dr. Chaudhry continued, “Common symptoms include back pain,losing height and developing a hunched back. To catch this disorder, regular bone density check- ups is a must. Densitometer is a machine of much help. Poor density means higher probability of complicated fractures. World osteoporotic day, which falls on October 20, should be all about raising awareness about prevention and diagnoses of this disorder which is widespread.”