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Osteoporosis and Obesity

Obesity causes one more disease known as osteoporosis. It is common mostly in women. Adetailed description of this disease enables one to understand the damage it can cause.

We tend to think that the bone is a solid stony mass but it is not so. Bone is a cavity. This cavity holds minerals, mostly calcium and phosphates and protein-rich fibrous connective tissues that keep changing. Bones keep on breaking down in minute amounts and are replaced constantly. This function is known as remodel­ling. This remodelling process helps in maintaining strong bones. Between the age of 35 to 40, there is a steady loss of bone, (around 4 percent in a year), especially in women, though there is enormous remodelling. This loss steadily continues till meno­pause. Bone remodelling requires calcium and other nutrients that are stored in the cavity. Since the body needs calcium for other activities, it tends to restore the calcium from the bones, thus the calci urn level in the blood drops too low. As a result the bones become porous with a spongy appearance. This condition is known as Osteoporosis.

Production of the hormone oestrogen decreases sharply during menopause in women. Hence, the ability to absorb calcium becomes poor. That is why intake of calcium in the form of pills does not improve the condition. In case of obesity, overburdened joints and lack of exercise makes this condition worse. Exercise increases bone mass and helps to reduce bone loss. Anything that puts a mechanical stress is often beneficial because it encourages the mobility of the joints in various actions. Only exercises comprising manual labour, movements that aid the mobility of joints and a calcium rich diet can help.

Coffee, tea and other beverages and drugs containing caffeine speed up the excretion of calcium and other minerals. In case of inclined to sit for long hours obese people, the tendency to consume caffeine in all forms other than coffee tea, (analgesics, softdrinks etc.) plays a major role for this condition besides lack of exercise and manual labour. As one grows old, it is a wise thing to avoid these unnecessary evils.



   Information on Obesity
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