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10 myths about Osteoporosis that we need to dispel

There is a lack of awareness regarding osteoporosis due to the myths related to this condition. Here we aim to dispel these myths and improve the quality of life of patients with osteoporosis.

Kristina Das Written By: Kristina Das @https://twitter.com/KristinaDas2 New Delhi Published on: October 13, 2023 16:01 IST
Image Source : FREEPIK Myths about Osteoporosis you need to know.

Osteoporosis, a condition characterised by weakened bones, affects millions of people worldwide. While it predominantly affects older individuals, it can also occur in younger people due to factors such as hormonal imbalances and certain medical conditions. One of the biggest challenges with osteoporosis is that it often goes unnoticed until a bone fracture occurs. This emphasizes the crucial need for timely intervention and a proactive measure to combat this silent disease before irreversible damage is done. According to Dr Ashish Dewan, Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon, Apollo Spectra Delhi, by identifying risk factors and implementing appropriate interventions, individuals can significantly reduce their chances of developing this debilitating condition. Additionally, advances in technology have paved the way for more accurate diagnostic tools, such as bone density scans and genetic testing, which enable doctors to detect signs of osteoporosis at an earlier stage. However, there are many myths related to this condition which we need to dispel.

Here, we help you to separate the facts from fiction

Myth #1: Most people don’t need to worry about osteoporosis.

Millions of Indians – 36 million to be exact – have low bone density or osteoporosis. In fact, about one in two women and up to one in four men over the age of 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis. The disease causes an estimated two million broken bones every year.

Myth #2: Osteoporosis is only a problem for older women.

While osteoporosis is common among white women, men and women of all races can have the disease. Also, while the disease is more common in older people, it can strike at any age.

Myth #3: You don’t need to worry about osteoporosis if you break a bone from a serious fall or accident.

Broken bones in people over the age of 50 can be the first sign of low bone density or osteoporosis. Broken bones from serious falls or accidents are often related to osteoporosis.

Myth #4: People with osteoporosis can feel their bones getting weaker

Osteoporosis is commonly called a “silent disease.” Often, breaking a bone is the first clue you have osteoporosis. Some people learn that they have osteoporosis after they lose height from one or more broken bones in the spine. These broken bones can even occur without any noticeable pain.

Myth #5: An osteoporosis test is painful and exposes you to a lot of radiation.

Experts recommend a bone mineral density test using a central DXA (dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry) machine. It is simple, painless, takes 5-10 minutes, and uses very little radiation. You are exposed to 10-15 times more radiation from flying in a plane round trip between Delhi and Bombay.

Myth #6: Children and teens do not need to worry about their bone health.

Children and teens can build strong bones and prevent osteoporosis by being physically active and getting enough calcium and vitamin D.

Myth #7: If you drink a lot of milk and exercise, you are not at risk for osteoporosis.

Even if you drink plenty of milk and exercise, you still may be at risk for osteoporosis. There are many risk factors for osteoporosis - some you can control and some you can't.

Myth #8: Osteoporosis isn’t serious.

Broken bones from osteoporosis can be very painful and serious. Broken bones can affect physical, mental, and emotional health, and in some cases, result in death. It is important to take steps throughout your life to protect your bones.

Myth #9: Taking extra calcium supplements can help prevent osteoporosis.

Taking more calcium than you need does not provide any extra benefits. Estimate the amount of calcium you get from foods on a typical day to determine whether a supplement is right for you.

Myth #10: Most people do not need to take a vitamin D supplement.

Vitamin D helps your body use calcium. If you don’t get enough vitamin D, or if your body doesn’t absorb it well, you are at greater risk for osteoporosis. Your skin makes vitamin D when it is exposed to the sun and is also available in a few foods. However, many people need a vitamin D supplement.

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