Thu, Dec 8, 2016 | updated 05:39 AM IST

Women, here's how you're damaging your bones, muscles everyday

Updated: Nov 13, 2016 12:56 IST

New Delhi [India], Nov. 13 (ANI): Maintaining healthy bones and muscles as you age is extremely important in preventing debilitating conditions, like fractures and osteoporosis, especially for women.

Bone density is the greatest when you are in your 20s, but after that you begin to lose bone mass, making your bones weaker and more susceptible to damage. While there is nothing you can do to prevent this from happening, there are certain lifestyle choices that can accelerate bone loss and muscles damage.

Dr Anil Arora, Head of Unit and Lead Consultant, Department of Orthopaedics Max Super Speciality Hospital, Patparganj, Delhi, points out some common habits that damage the health of your bones.

1. Alcohol Use.

Occasional drink is just fine. Consistently drinking more than one to two drinks per week can lead to a loss of two percent of your bone mass over a year's time. Alcohol interferes with the absorption of both calcium and vitamin D, both of which are necessary for bone formation. In addition, excessive consumption of alcohol destroys osteoblasts, the bone-making cells.

2. Cigarette Smoking.

The ingredients in cigarette smoke interfere with the natural cycle of bone health. Smoking hinders the formation of healthy new bone and it also causes existing bone tissue to break down more rapidly. As a result, bones become weak and brittle. Smoking causes a loss of approximately two percent of bone over a year. If you both smoke and drink, yearly bone loss actually increases to eight percent.

3. Lack of Physical activities.

Combining too much eating with no or little exercise is a recipe for disaster. Lack of physical exercise weakens our muscles and exposes them to physical injuries. Also, exercising regularly improves the immune system and protects our body from becoming sick frequently exercises will quickly result in weak bones and eventual osteoporosis. Bones need to be placed under stress to grow stronger. Weight-bearing exercise, such as walking, provides that stress. The recommendation for exercising to promote healthy bones is 30 minutes of weight-bearing exercise five days a week.

4. Deficiency of Vitamin D and calcium.

In vitamin D deficiency, calcium absorption cannot be increased enough to satisfy the body's calcium needs. Consequently, calcium is mobilized from the skeleton to maintain normal serum calcium levels, resulting in bone loss. Infants who are exclusively breast-fed and do not receive vitamin D supplementation are at high risk of vitamin D deficiency, particularly if they have dark skin and/or receive little sun exposure . Older infants and toddlers exclusively fed milk substitutes and weaning foods that are not vitamin D fortified are also at risk of vitamin D deficiency. Health experts recommend that all infants be given a vitamin D supplement of 400 IU/day.

The elderly have reduced capacity to synthesize vitamin D in skin when exposed to ultraviolet-B (UVB) radiation. In addition, the elderly are more likely to stay indoors or use sunscreen, which blocks vitamin D synthesis. Vitamin D deficiency causes muscle weakness and pain in children and adults .A randomized controlled trial found that supplementation of elderly women with 800 IU/day of vitamin D and 1,200 mg/day of calcium for three months increased muscle strength and decreased the risk of falling by almost 50 percent compared to supplementation with calcium alone. Calcium is an important mineral that is needed by essential organs in your body, such as the heart, muscles, and nerves. Bone functions as the major storehouse for calcium. If you don't eat enough calcium to supply the body with what it needs, it will take calcium from bone.

5. Drinking Too Much Caffeine.

Excess caffeine consumption is associated with lower bone density. Caffeine causes your kidneys to excrete calcium from your body, lowering the amount of calcium available to the bones for rebuilding.

6. Over consumption of Soda.

Soda contains a chemical compound called phosphoric acid. Phosphoric acid gives soda its tangy taste and adds to its syrupy consistency. Unfortunately, Phosphoric acid flushes calcium out of the body and it has been linked to lower bone density in those who drink three or more sodas a day. Another factor that could contribute to bone loss in soda drinkers is the preference for soda over calcium-rich beverages.

7. Accidents and Fractures.

Accidents cause tearing of muscles and bone fractures. When a bone breaks; it may crack, snap, or shatter. After a fracture, new bone cells fill the gap and repair the break. Applying a strong plaster cast, which keeps the bone in the correct position until it heals, is the usual treatment. If the fracture is complicated, metal pins and plates can be placed to better stabilize it while the bone heals.

8. Muscular dystrophy.

Muscular dystrophy is an inherited group of diseases that affect the muscles, causing them to weaken and break down over time. The most common form in childhood is called Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and it most often affects boys.

9. Repetitive stress injuries (RSIs).

RSIs are a group of injuries that happen when too much stress is placed on a part of the body, resulting in inflammation (pain and swelling), muscle strain, or tissue damage. This stress generally occurs from repeating the same movements over and over again. Playing sports like tennis that involve repetitive motions can also lead to RSIs. Kids and teens that spend a lot of time playing musical instruments or video games are also at risk for RSIs. RSIs are becoming more common in kids and teens because they spend more time than ever using computers.

10. Tendonitis.

This common sports injury that usually happens after over exercising a muscle. The tendon and tendon sheath become inflamed, which can be painful. Resting the muscles and taking anti-inflammatory medication can bring relief.

11. Aging changes in the bones - muscles - joints.

Changes in posture and walking pattern are common with aging. The skeleton provides support and structure to the body. Joints are the areas where bones come together. They allow the skeleton to be flexible for movement. In a joint, bones do not directly contact each other. Instead, they are cushioned by cartilage in the joint, synovial membranes around the joint, and fluid.

Muscles provide the force and strength to move the body. Coordination is directed by the brain but is affected by changes in the muscles and joints. Changes in the muscles, joints, and bones affect the posture and walk, and lead to weakness and slowed movement.

12. Medical disorders and bone loss.

Many long-term (chronic) medical conditions can keep people confined to a bed or chair. This keeps the muscles and bones in their hips and spines from being used or bearing any weight. Not being able to walk or exercise may lead to bone loss and fractures. Any treatment or condition that causes calcium or vitamin D to be poorly absorbed can also lead to weak bones. (ANI)