The skeletons

Few people realize that the skeleton is continually rebuilding itself throughout our adult life. In this ongoing process, calcium is used up and replaced as new bone forms but, if there is a lack of calcium in the system, bones can become weak and extremely brittle. This situation is exacerbated in post-menopausal women when oestrogen, which helps maintain bone density, naturally declines. This situation can also arise if ovarian problems develop at any age or, again irrespective of age and gender, if a person is extremely underweight.

Osteoprosis, often referred to as a silent killer, affect a high percentage of women and a lesser number of men world wide and is rarely diagnosed until something goes wrong; This could simply be that a sufferer develops persistent back ache joint ache or suffers a fracture or break at which point a doctor may suggest that a bone density scan be carried out to determine if osteoporosis is present. There is nothing like sticking to a calcium rich diet to maintain bone health but, on its own, this is just not enough. someone ensuring that their diet is high in dairy products such as cheese,milk,yoghurt and eggs, along with regular consumption of seafood, especially sardines, salmon and tuna fish with bones, plus nuts, whole grains,seeds,green vegetable and fruit may be under the impression that they are absorbing sufficient  calcium to maintain bone health but, unfortunately this is not always the case.vitamine D is essential for calcium to be absorbed by the bones, the best natural source of this is sunlight directly on the skin yet it is surprising, with the amount of sunshine we have here in Pakistan, just how many people are short of this important vitamine.other factors which inhibit calcium uptake include regular consumption of caffeine as found in coffee,tea,cocoa and soft drinks based on cola. To further complicate dietary factors calcium hydroxyapatite and calcium carbonate, both of which are commonly used in calcium supplements, inhibit the body’s iron uptake and can lead to anaemia; other calcium supplements such as calcium- magnesium have often been found to contain toxic substances such as lead and mercury.

Daily load bearing exercise is another way of helping to prevent osteoporosis from occurring and this need not be anything more then a brisk 20 minute walk. If a person already shows signs of the disease then an orthopedics specialist should be consulted prior to undertaking any course of action at all.

 By Shamim Bokhari(204/10)


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