Have you been diagnosed with osteoporosis? Then, you need to know that it is not possible to reverse osteoporosis but you can manage it with the help of family members. An individual diagnosed with osteoporosis needs to embrace a healthy lifestyle consisting of a well-balanced diet and exercise. It should also include medicines and supplements recommended by the doctor. The article sheds light on some vital tips that can be beneficial for patients with osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis weakens bones and makes one vulnerable to fractures. This condition is commonly seen in older women. The symptoms are changes in the posture (stooping or bending forward), shortness of breath, loss of height, and pain in the lower back. This condition can hamper your mobility and make you dependent on others. The family members of the patients need to take utmost care of them at home and help them stay mobile and lead a healthy life.
DOs & DON’Ts
Exercise daily: If your loved one is detected with osteoporosis then make sure the person exercises. Regular physical activity will improve muscle strength and balance, maintain a good posture, manage pain and lower the risk of bone fracture. Help the patient to do strength training exercises under the guidance of a fitness trainer. Consult the doctor before initiating any fitness routine. Go for walks with the person with osteoporosis. Avoid high-impact exercises that require a lot of twisting and bending as these can raise chances of injuries and worsen the condition. Take the help of a physiotherapist if required to stretch and increase mobility.
Pay attention to diet: Make sure that the patient with osteoporosis eats plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, and whole grains. Calcium-rich foods like dairy products, spinach, kale, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, tofu, soya bean, salmon, tuna, and eggs. Avoid junk, processed, oily, and canned foods. Eating foods loaded with calcium can preserve bone density. Take calcium and vitamin D supplements after seeking doctor’s advice. One with osteoporosis will also have to cut down on smoking, alcohol, and caffeine. Smoking affects the body’s ability to absorb calcium, causing lower bone density and weaker bones.
Sun exposure: Getting enough sunlight in the morning will allow vitamin D production. Encourage your loved one with osteoporosis to sit in the sun at least for 20 minutes. This will also be good for your bones and overall well-being.
Fall prevention: Install handles and bars at home in order to prevent falls and fractures in those with osteoporosis. Do not keep rugs or carpets at home as one can fall over these things. Also, make sure all rooms are well lit.
(Dr Biswajeet Naidu is Orthopaedic Surgeon, Apollo Spectra Hospital, Mumbai)