Calcium intake is important for elderly ladies
Very frequently, we get to know about some elderly person in our vicinity having a bone fracture. Have you ever given a thought that why there are so frequent cases of fracture in elderly people in comparison to younger generation? Underlying cause can be explained through the hormonal changes and resulting bone fragility.
After menopause, in elderly ladies, the blood concentration of the hormone estrogen falls. Indirectly, this hormone controls the retention of calcium within the bones and absorption of calcium from blood stream and their deposition in the bone. So, what will be the result? The bone will gradually loose its calcium and become fragile. The initial physical manifestation occurs in the form of joint pain. In the advanced stage, the bone becomes weak enough to bear the load of body and gets a fracture even with a slight load. This condition in which the bone becomes extremely fragile due to prolonged calcium loss is called osteoporosis. The extent of calcium loss is ascertained by a specific test called bone densitometry test.
The amount of calcium which has been already lost from bone is really hard to recover. Medical intervention could just prevent further loss. Earlier the intervention, lesser the loss and better the result. That’s the reason, elderly ladies are prescribed calcium tablets after menopause. Moreover, for optimal result, intake of vitamin D is equally important which is required for the absorption of calcium in bones. Sachets of vitamin D are prescribed to be taken once a week. Alternatively, hormone replacement therapy is also prescribed for the cause.
India, having a population which is still unaware of the concept of preventive health, osteoporosis is emerging as a major challenge. The government should include the program of free calcium distribution to elderly ladies in its primary health care system just like it is following the pulse polio.
Elders are the torch bearers,