Here’s how you can keep your bones healthy


On the occasion of World Arthritis Day, Fortis Healthcare has issued guidelines to keep the bones healthy.

Rheumatic or musculoskeletal conditions comprise over 150 diseases and syndromes, which are usually progressive and associated with pain.

They can broadly be categorised as joint diseases, physical disability, spinal disorders, and conditions resulting from trauma.

Musculoskeletal conditions are leading causes of morbidity and disability, giving rise to enormous healthcare expenditures and loss of work.

Arthritis is a disease related to joints and the cartilage where the cartilage gets thinner and thinner. The various types of arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, spinal disorders.

Common dietary mistakes that have a harmful effect on our bones, said Balvinder Rana, MS Orthopaedics at Fortis Escorts Research Institute.

Too much salt in food causes us to lose calcium through urine to release extra salt: Some of this calcium comes from the bones which can lead to weak bones or Osteoporosis in the long run.

Some studies show that a reduction in salt intake from 10 to 5 gm/day would have the same effect on bone strength as an increase in calcium intake of 1000 mg/day.

Sodas and fizzy drinks are also linked to weak bones for several reasons: In the 1950s, children drank 3 cups of milk for every 1 cup of sugary drinks.

Today that ratio is reversed: 3 cups of sugary drinks for every cup of milk. Sodas have thus replaced healthy drinks such as milk and fruit juices.

There’s growing concern that soda can be more damaging when consumed during the peak bone building years of childhood and adolescence.

Also, the phosphorous in soda may limit our ability to use the calcium we consume. Excessive soda consumption also lowers magnesium levels that are needed for bone health.

Excessive coffee consumption is bad for bones: If you’re drinking more than three or four cups of coffee a day, then add some extra calcium because coffee decreases calcium absorption and increases calcium loss.

Try substituting coffee with tea as per a meta analysis published in 2014 in the reputed journal Osteoporosis International, there is some evidence that tea drinkers have a lower risk of hip fracture.

Too much alcohol causes bone loss: Heavy drinkers have weak bones, frequent falls, and more broken bones than non-drinkers.

When you imbibe 2 to 3 ounces of alcohol every day, calcium is not absorbed from the intestines.

Alcohol also affects the liver thereby affecting the function of vitamin D the bone vitamin, thus causing weak bones.

Too much chocolate may also increase the risk of weak bones: A study of women who consumed more than one daily serving of chocolate showed a higher risk of weak bones than women who consumed chocolate less than once a week.

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