World Osteoporosis Day 2018: How Does Pollution Affect Your Bone Health? Expert Lays Down Prevention Tips
Osteoporosis and pollution. (Photo Credit: Pixabay)

World osteoporosis day is observed on the 20th of October every year to spread awareness about this little-understood bone disease. The burden of osteoporosis is increasing every day. Did you know that across the world, osteoporosis causes more than 8.9 million fractures annually? The calculation results in a statistic that says that there is an osteoporotic fracture every 3 seconds across the world. What needs to be understood more is that the condition depends immensely on the lifestyle and is preventable upto a certain extent, if the root cause of the disease is known. Apart from age and menopause (lack of hormone estrogen) recently, studies have observed that pollution too has some role to play in increasing the burden of osteoporosis and other bone diseases.  World Osteoporosis Day 2018: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment Options and Why This Bone Disease Affects Men and Women Differently.

About the connection of osteoporosis with the increased pollution, Dr Yash Gulati, Senior Consultant, Orthopaedics, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, says that, 'It has been recently found that pollution also accelerates this process of deterioration(of the bones). Air pollution has been linked to an increase in the worsening of bone diseases and their symptoms.' He further says that,

'Elderly people who are more frequently exposed to air pollutants from vehicular and industrial emissions experience faster bone loss and thus, higher risk of bone fractures. So, bad air is also very bad for your bones.'

Like it is always said, prevention is better than cure. Better prevention methods can help osteoporosis. Dr Yash Gulati also lays down a few prevention tips for osteoporosis and other bone-related diseases.

  1. It is essential that one starts to care for their bones at early in life.
  2. There is no replacement for nutrition, so your diet should include calcium-rich foods such as dairy products (milk, curd, yoghurt, cheese, etc.) and green veggies (spinach, kale, broccoli, etc.).
  3. Vitamin D is an essential factor which regulates the absorption of calcium in the body. If your body is deficient in Vitamin D, then no matter how many calcium-rich foods you consume, your body will not absorb it.
  4. Smoking and excessive drinking affect bone health adversely, so avoid these bad habits.
  5. Finally, avoid a sedentary lifestyle. Lack of exercise is as bad for your bones as air pollution is for your respiratory system. Regular activities such as walking, jogging, dancing, aerobics, sports, etc. keep our bones strong and reduce the loss of calcium from bones.  What Is the Difference Between Arthritis and Osteoporosis? Why Are the Two Bone Diseases Confused with Each Other?

The takehome is that maintaining a good bone health is very important to help prevent osteoporosis and other bone-related diseases. If you feel that you may be more prone to such bone-related diseases you might want to speak to an expert who can help screen you and also help you keep osteoporosis at bay.