Global Health Asia-Pacific Issue 2 | 2023 - Page 54

A healthy diet that includes vitamin D and calcium and an active lifestyle are vital to maintaining bone health .
fractures is treated by immobilising the affected bone with a cast , bracing , and extensive pillow to allow it to heal . Surgery may sometimes be necessary to realign the bone fragments and stabilise the fracture . For example , vertebroplasty involves injecting liquid semen into the fractured vertebrae bone ,” Dr Badrul said . Additionally , pain management and physical therapy can be conducted post-surgery to restore strength and mobility .
Individuals with osteoporosis are also at risk of experiencing bone collapse due to weak and brittle backbones . “ Elderly individuals with gradual collapsing of the bone can manifest traits such as reduced height and kyphosis , a medical condition in which the spine in the upper back region curves outward , causing a hunchback-like appearance ,” Dr Badrul said .
Health screening as a preventive measure Currently , osteoporosis has no cure , and the risk varies according to gender , age , and lifestyle . Preventive measures , therefore , are key . “ Health screening to determine the level of bone mineral density ( BMD ) and vitamin D is essential in preventing
osteoporosis before it occurs ,” Dr Badrul emphasised . Checks for BMD are now a requirement in many health screenings due to the high prevalence of osteoporosis , as are vitamin D measurements , particularly for sedentary individuals with little exposure to the sun .
In 2021 , the Bone Health Alliance Malaysia ( BHAM ), a collaboration between three local osteoporosis societies , estimated that 77 percent of Malaysian women with post-menopausal osteoporosis were undiagnosed due to a lack of knowledge of bone health and minimal recognition of osteoporosis as a significant health problem . �r Badrul believes that the screening of vulnerable groups is essential to enable prompt medical intervention to reduce osteoporosisrelated injuries .
“ If someone who is post-menopausal is subjected to BMD screening , we can immediately recommend proper vitamin D and calcium-rich diets or provide supplements ,” he said . In some cases , where BMD levels are low , there is also the probability of developing osteopenia , a precursor to osteoporosis . “ In this juncture , you can suggest supplements , calcium treatment , increased exercise activity to strengthen muscles , or prescribe anti-osteoporosis drugs ,” he added .
Besides MBD and vitamin D screening , other tests include serum calcium screening that estimates the calcium level in the blood and measures hormone levels , specifically thyroid and parathyroid hormones . Thyroid hormones regulate bone tissue replacement , while the parathyroid hormone controls the amount of calcium in the blood . Determining these levels is crucial for preventing osteoporosis and in treating possible blood calcium and hormonal disorders . “ Another method that can be considered is renal profiling which assesses kidney health and may reveal some disease that can lead to the onset of osteoporosis ,” Dr Badrul said .
Calcium is essential to maintain bone health .
Healthy eating and exercise for healthier bones He further stressed that a healthy diet that includes vitamin D and calcium and an active lifestyle are vital to maintaining bone health . “ Regular exercise promotes the distribution of essential nutrients throughout the musculoskeletal system and improves bone mass . It should be noted there is a condition called disuse osteoporosis that can occur due to decreased use of the muscles ,” he elaborated . Studies show that eating more fruits and vegetables rich in fibre , essential nutrients , and minerals can protect against osteoporosis . The British Journal of Sports Medicine issued a consensus statement recommending that individuals with osteoporosis should exercise , especially jogging and brisk walking to increase bone strength , balance training to reduce fall incidences , and spinal extension exercises for improved posture .
52 ISSUE 2 | 2023 GlobalHealthAsiaPacific . com