According to The Arthritis Foundation of India, Osteoporosis affects a million Indians each year. And the bad news doesn’t end there. If the chairman of AFI, Dr Sushil Sharma is to be believed then the chief reason behind such a large number is lack of awareness about the disease. Often under-treated, osteoporosis information is full of myths and misconceptions. Dr. R.K. Sharma, Senior Consultant Orthopaedics & Joint Replacement Surgeon at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital helps us bust the top 7 myths about osteoporosis.
Myth 1: Osteoporosis only affects the elderly and is just a natural part of aging. Normally osteoporosis affects the elderly as a part of the ageing process but it can affect the younger population as well.
- In cases of metabolic bone diseases: Hypothyroidism, Hyperparathyroidism etc.
- In cases of nutritional deficiencies of vitamin D and Calcium.
- In cases of Hormonal Changes like decreased level of Estrogens in females undergoing hysterectomy with oophorectomy.
- In younger population with lower levels of physical activity.
Myth 2: Osteoporosis only affects women. Osteoporosis is more prevalent in females but males are also affected by it.
Myth 3: It is in my genes. Osteoporosis can have a genetic predisposition but it is more often related to physical and sports related activities and also on nutritional intake in early decade of life when the body was building up the bone stock.
Myth 4: Osteoporosis cannot be treated. Osteoporosis is a curable disease. Treatment depends upon the age and the underlying pathology of the disease.
Myth 5: If I have Osteoporosis, I will feel the weakness in my bones. No. Weakness in bones is not a symptom of osteoporosis.
Myth 6: Calcium will solve everything. No, Calcium is just one of the factors in a large number of factors which can cause osteoporosis. Irrational use of calcium medication is not recommended.
Myth 7: Only Whites and Asians get Osteoporosis. No. Sunlight is an important component in Vitamin D metabolism. Populations deficient in exposure to sunlight are theoretically more prone to osteoporosis.
*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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