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Weight loss plans 'can lead to osteoporosis'

Dubai, October 26, 2013

Unhealthy weight loss programmes and crash dieting can lead to early osteoporosis disease as dietary supplements taken for body building contain anabolic steroids which also contribute to the problem, said an expert.

Lifestyle-related factors are largely responsible for the growing incidence of osteoporosis, particularly among youngsters, remarked Dr Yash Gulati, a leading orthopaedic & spine surgeon and visiting consultant to RAK Hospital.  

Dr Gulati is a former senior consultant at the Spine Surgery & Joint Replacement Division of Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi, and has been doing joint replacement and spine surgeries for over 15 years. His patients include leading cricketers, top diplomats and a number of celebrities.

Dr Gulati visits RAK Hospital every month and this month’s visit coincides with the hospital’s Love Your Bones campaign from October 28 to 31 October, being held as part of the observance of the World Osteoporosis Day.

Smoking and alcohol consumption are the other factors linked to the rising osteoporosis incidence. Smoking causes a metabolic disturbance in the body, affecting the ability of bones to produce enough collagen.

Similarly, alcohol reduces the absorption of calcium in the gastrointestinal tract, thus leading to vitamin D deficiency. People who spend a lot of time sitting have a higher risk of osteoporosis than their more-active counterparts.

Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and brittle — so brittle that a fall or even mild stresses like bending over or coughing can cause a fracture. These fractures most commonly occur in the hip, wrist or spine. The commonest cause of osteoporosis, however, is the advancing age and women are particularly prone to the disease around menopause time, said the statement.

Dr Gulati points out that osteoporosis is a very common problem the world over and the UAE is no exception and, therefore, urgent attention is required to combat the problem to prevent complications associated with the disease.

"Bone fractures, particularly in the spine or hip, are the most serious complication of osteoporosis. Hip fractures often result from a fall and can result in disability and even death from postoperative complications, especially in older adults," he remarked.

"In some cases, spinal fractures can occur even without a fall. The bones that make up the spine (vertebrae) can weaken to the point that they may crumple, which can result in back pain, lost height and a hunched forward posture," said Dr Gulati.

"Occurrence of osteoporosis is higher among the Emiratis as a significant ratio of the local population is above 40, compared to relatively younger expatriate work force. The incidence of decreased bone density is about 24 per cent in this segment. More significantly, 65 per cent is deficient in vitamin D, which further weakens the bone," he added.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Osteoporosis | weight loss |

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