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On the occasion of the Osteoporosis World Day, October 20th , the Education Committee of the Saudi Diabetes and Endocrine Association called to invest in Osteoporosis prevention. Osteoporosis is an epidemic waiting to happen, as its prevalence is alarming in both women and men. The call included a health message to the community to recognize the risk factors and reduce them.

This message included:

Nutrition – Advise to consume foods rich in calcium, such as, low fat and skimmed milk and its products in sufficient amount (3 cups per day). Boney fish, sardines, green leafy vegetables are good sources of calcium as
well, but lower in content than dairy products.

Vitamin D – recommend consuming foods fortified with vitamin D, such as milk products, in addition to exposing to sun for 15-30 minutes (2-3 times per week) but preferred daily.

Protein – recommend consuming adequate amount protein, such as, lean meat or fish, or poultry or low fat milk. Protein helps in making strong bones.

Salt – recommend consuming salt in moderation, as excessive consumption depletes calcium from bones in addition to causing other health problems.

Caffeine – advice to avoid excessive consumption of caffeine containing beverages, such as coffee, tea, as caffeine reduces calcium absorption.
 Avoidance of smoking and alcohol, as they cause weak bones.
 Importance to educate and encourage children and students to consume low fat milk (3 cup daily) or laban or yogurt to strengthen their bones, and reduce the intake of sweetened juices and soft drinks, as these don’t contain calcium and replace milk in children menu.
 Importance of exercise on daily basis, in particular the exercises that include weight resistance, such as carrying a small weight in hands while exercising.

Conclusion

Osteoporosis means weak and brittle bones, can lead to fractures, pain, disability, falls and lower the quality of life; but its prevention should be considered. It is important to invest in bone health prior to reaching the age 30 years, but it is never too late to consider all the above preventable factors and adopt healthy life styles. In addition, Osteoporosis is called “Silent Thief”, as it weakens the bones silently and with the years, but it is not noticed until reaches an advanced stage.

The Women Committee of the SDEA has also called the women leaders in the local society to support its campaign to reduce Osteoporosis risks among women. Also, the Education Committee recommends including the subject of Osteoporosis is the schools’ curriculum, especially for the female students of secondary schools, colleges and universities.

 

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