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Building bones while young prevents fractures in old age, say doctors

Women and men should build their bone mass before the age of 30 so that they can benefit as they grow older, say doctors.

Ahead of the International Women’s Day on March 8, The Hindu as part of it Wellness Series along with Kauvery Hospital organised a webinar on bone health recently.

Participants, including Aravindan Selvaraj, co-founder and chief orthopaedic surgeon of Kauvery hospital, S. Chockalingam, consultant trauma and orthopaedic surgeon in the Tiruchi branch of the hospital, and Usha Sriram, head of the Department of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Women’s Health at the Voluntary Health Services in Taramani, reiterated that women should include sufficient exercise.

While men and women achieve their peak bone mass around the age of 30, women tend to lose their bone mass faster.

“Bone is a dynamic organ which is alive and the cells,” she explained.

Dr. Chockaligam likened the body to a building and the bones to the steel structure on which brick and mortar are added to build.

“Bone is a vibrant structure which is why when a bone breaks it hurts, the muscles ache and the joints become weak,” he explained. Both obesity and being underweight could adversely affect the bone health, he pointed out.

Dr. Aravindan said in his hospital menopausal women were routinely advised to check for bone health and bone density. “We advise dietary changes and recommend regular exposure to sunlight. Women should not ignore regular weight bearing exercises,” he said.

The challenges of managing women over 65 years with broken bones are higher as their bones are fragile and do not have the ability to hold up the bones.

Participants wanted to know if they could take collagen as an over-the-counter (OTC) drug and whether sunscreen would help.

The doctors said OTC was not advised. Dr. Usha said sunscreens were prescribed by dermatologists for a specific condition. But using them would prevent absorption of Vitamin D by the body, she cautioned.

Dr. Chockalingam said women should continue exercising post-delivery, be it normal or caesarean section. The injections given during delivery were not to be blamed for back pain, he added.

The body needed only 1 gm to 1.2 gm of calcium. Exposure to sunlight helped the body synthesise calcium consumed through food sources, he said.

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 5:57:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/building-bones-while-young-prevents-fractures-in-old-age-say-doctors/article34016562.ece

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