Can you explain the need for so much focus on Osteoporosis?
Healthy bones play a vital role in our body. Its significance increases with age. It provides structure to our body, protects internal organs, produces blood cells and supports all other tissues. When the bone density is reduced, it results in a number of complications. As long as our bone density is normal, the bones are resilient to low trauma fractures, if bone density decreases there is a high risk of fractures, even with a minor fall. Common sites of osteoporotic fractures are hip, spine, wrist and ankle. A decrease in bone density is usually painless and is diagnosed mostly after the patient has sustained a fracture. The main issue is that this is a silent disease and not many are aware of it. Around one in five men and one in three women beyond 50 years, experience this silent disease. A day is therefore dedicated to this, to create awareness on the disease and treatment options available.
How can one avoid this disease?
The conventional dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry DEXA scan is the present method adopted to measure bone mineral density. Its results are interpreted by a Rheumatologist in conjunction with the clinical scenario. There are therapeutic options available for osteoporosis treatment, including drugs like oral and intravenous bisphosphonates, hormones like Teriparatide and calcitonin, monoclonal antibodies like Denosumab. Calcium and Vitamin D supplements according to the severity of the disease is a part of every osteoporosis prescription.
What are the challenges you faced over the course of the initiative?
One must follow the recommended calcium in diet from childhood. Besides, Vitamin D is considered more of a hormone than just a vitamin. It plays a major role in maintaining good bone health. A daily exposure to sunlight for at least 20-30 minutes is important. Human skin synthesis vitamin D which is vital for bone health. Habits like smoking, coffee consumption and lack of any exercise must be checked.