Specialist doctor Shreerang Madhusudan Joshi says: "Women around the age of menopause and all older people including men above the age of 60 are most vulnerable to osteoporosis ... Being female puts you at a greater risk of developing osteoporosis and broken bones. In fact, a woman's risk of breaking a hip is equal to her combined risk of [getting] breast, uterine and ovarian cancer. The fact that women tend to have smaller and thinner bones and the hormone oestrogen that protects bones decreases sharply when a women hits menopause, increases their chances of developing the condition.
"Low vitamin D and calcium levels, smoking and excessive alcohol intake are some of the other factors that put one at risk of developing this debilitating disease ... Osteoporosis was considered to be an acceptable and inevitable part of ageing, but not any more. Good lifestyle habits, exercise and a proper balanced diet can help ward off the disease immensely.
“The components of prevention are a balanced diet and load-bearing exercises. A balanced diet consists of adequate proteins and minerals, especially calcium and vitamin D. Load-bearing exercises include walking, running and jumping.
“In elderly people, we recommend normal walking of 45 minutes per day and in women [going through] menopause about 20 minutes of brisk walk. Again, in elderly people, because diet is inadequate, oral supplements of proteins, calcium and vitamin D are also prescribed for prevention.”
Dr Shreerang Madhusudan Joshi is a specialist spine and orthopedic surgeon at RAK Hospital