A healthy lifestyle is more effective than any other drug, said Dr Darius Soonawalla in the Health Live @ Seniors Today session on Saturday, June 27.
On Saturday, June 27, Health Live @ Seniors Today hosted Dr Darius Soonawalla as part of the weekly interface with leading doctors. An interesting session about osteoporosis and bone health in general. Dr Soonawalla answered questions from attendees and shared tips on how to maintain bone health and posture.
Dr Soonawalla is one of the leading orthopaedic surgeons in the country. A specialist in joint replacement, and was one of the first surgeons in the country to perform a non-invasive hip and knee replacement, which was recently introduced internationally. He is connected with some leading hospitals in Mumbai like the Breach Candy, Jaslok, Parsi General and Saifee Hospitals.
Here are takeaways from the webinar:
Osteoporosis and Arthritis are different – Osteoporosis is a condition where the bones become weaker leading to fractures. This could be due to ageing or due to other health conditions. Arthritis is a condition which affects the joints – junction between the two bones, causing inflammation and damage to the joint. People suffering from Arthritis experience pain, deformity and mobility.
Prevent bones from further damage – A good lifestyle and diet in your teens has a significant impact on bone health. After the age of 30, bones lose the ability to strengthen. However, with a proper diet and adequate calcium and Vitamin D intake, one can maintain healt of the bones. Once men cross the age of 60 and when women reach menopause, this would be the time to pay close attention to any bone-related discomfort and get them treated to prevent it from further damage.
Watch out for pharma-driven supplements – There are variety of supplements in the market and some of them are not required. Body requires 1000-1500 milligrams of calcium a day. The best source of calcium is through a well-balanced diet. People with good diet do not require supplements. However, people with poor diet may require supplements.
Vitamin D supplements are more essential – More than calcium supplements, Vitamin D supplements are important. A good source of Vitamin D is the sun, however, getting enough sunlight may be tough. Hence, Vitamin D supplements should be taken.
Bone density test should be done once in three years – Getting a calcium blood test may not accurately tell you if you are calcium deficient. A bone density test will give you a better idea about your bone health.
Vitamin D test should be done once a year – Blood test for Vitamin D will accurately tell you if you are deficient. But there is no need to get the test done every now and there, unless you are suffering from a health condition which requires you to do the test. Otherwise getting a test done once a year would be good.
Excessive computer use – The commonest cause of back pain, shoulder pain… is excessive use of computer. It is essential to get the computer set ergonomically and it is also important to do some core strengthening as well as upper body exercises and stretching.
Make sure your chair is comfortable
Your back is well supported and your hip should be around 90 degree
Make sure your computer screen is at the eye level
Your keyboard should be at elbow level, your elbow should be on the arm rest
Get up every half an hour move around and stretch for 2-3 minutes
Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI) – Unfortunately, mobiles have become an extension of our arm. If you are facing repetitive stress symptoms – pain in the arm, then drastically cut down the usage. It would be a good idea to minimise mobile usage by using earphones so that your hands are free or by using dictation instead of typing. There are a lot of stretching and strengthening exercises over the internet that can be done, however, to prevent it from worsening, you may have to cut back on mobile usage or use arm splints.
Right time to get a knee surgery – Knee surgeries are fairly successful but it is important to understand when should one go for it. If the knees are handicapping you significantly then that would be the right time to go for a knee surgery. Consult your doctor to check if you require to get a knee surgery done.
Hip replacement surgery – Hip replacement surgery can be performed two to three times. It is fairly successful and with recent implants, the replacement would last longer.
Women can opt for Hormone Replacement Therapy – For women once they reach menopause, their chances of Osteoporosis rise as there is withdrawal of estrogen. Estrogen is a hormone that protects the bones. Women can opt for Hormone Replacement Therapy which would last a couple of years.
Balancing and coordination exercises are important – Our body tends to get weaker as we age – loss of coordination and difficulty balancing which may lead to a fall. To prevent falls and injuries, it is extremely important to do balancing and coordination exercises.
It not possible to reverse Osteoporosis – Even with therapy it is not possible to reverse Osteoporosis but the idea of the therapy is to maintain bone strength. The treatment is done to prevent the bone from deteriorating.
Milk and milk products are good for the bones – Drinking milk is a good source of calcium. But people who have dietary problems with milk can opt for calcium supplements or other source of calcium.
Tele-consultation is a viable option – With telehealth one can stay at home and consult the doctor. In the current situation most of the doctors are on telehealth. It is one of the most comfortable ways of consulting without stepping out.
If you would like to consult with Dr Darius Soonawalla, you can book a tele-consultation at Breach Candy Hospital or you may reach him at his clinic on 9167872181.