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It is a disorder characterized by a decrease in total bone mass without a change in the chemical composition. It occurs when the rate of bone re-absorption exceeds the rate of bone formation. Reduction in the number of bone cells leads to increase porosity of the bone. As a result fractures occur with greater frequency.

This condition is primarily found among middle-aged and elderly post-menopausal women when there is decline in circulating estrogen hormone level. Decreased intestinal absorption of calcium and production of vitamin D and reduced physical activity may also cause osteoporosis.

  • It is sensible to encourage all elderly people to be as physically active as possible.

  • Diet must provide adequate quantities of protein, vitamins and minerals especially calcium and vitamin D.

  • Daily diet must include foods like milk, cheese, buttermilk, yogurt, dark green leafy vegetables, salmon, sardines, soybeans and tofu for enhancing the calcium intake.

  • Vitamin D fortified milk and cereal products, egg yolk, saltwater fish and liver should be given place in diet plan so as to get adequate amounts of vitamin D.

  • Regular exercise is another important preventive measure because it stimulates formation of new bone.

  • Smoking and drinking should be restricted as these increase the requirement of calcium in the body
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