Calcium deficiency is the leading cause of osteoporosis and other bone related disorders in Pakistani women. However, 51% women in Pakistan suffer from calcium deficiency.
Calcium is one of the most essential minerals of human body, with 99% present in bones and teeth. It has vital functions in human metabolism that includes:
- Maintaining strength of bones hence calcium deficiency leading to osteoporosis.
- Ensuring normal blood clotting
- Calcium also plays significant role in muscle contractions as well as maintaining normal heart beat.
National Osteoporosis Foundation states:
“Calcium plays an important role in building stronger, denser bones early in life thus keeping bones strong and healthy later in life”.
In Pakistan, every other woman is fighting body weakness, loss of physical activity and various bone disorders from a very early age due to low levels of dietary calcium intake.
According to a study,
In Pakistan: 97% women aged 75-84 and 55% women aged 40-54 are susceptible to osteoporosis.
After 40 years of age, women suffer from reduced bone mineral density that occur post menopause due to fall of estrogen level, hence developing osteomalacia, osteopenia, osteoarthritis and other bone related disorders, osteoporosis being the most common among Pakistani women.
It is a condition characterized by weakening of bones, making them fragile like a sponge with numerous pores. Osteoporosis develops due to calcium deficiency and results in frequent fractures.
Symptoms of Calcium deficiency:
Brittle nails, loss of memory, muscle spasm, tingling or numbness of hand and feet, cramps, curve in spine, back pain and bone fractures are most common symptoms of calcium deficiency.
Osteoporosis in Pakistani women is of public health concern that needs to be controlled. Women have to concentrate on their calcium intake from very early age to defeat this disturbing disorder.
To overcome osteoporosis and calcium deficiency several steps need to be taken that includes:
- Increased intake of calcium rich diet like milk, dairy products, cheese, yogurt, dark green vegetables and fortified orange juice.
- Exercise – jumping, skipping, stair climbing, one leg standing and body balance.
- Calcium supplements intake as prescribed by doctor.
- Increased intake of vitamin D.
In Pakistan, calcium deficiency is one of the leading health issues and to resolve it a number of calcium awareness campaigns through TV advertisement and films have surfaced, tried to educate women on importance of calcium. However, a women herself is responsible for her future. As a woman, you have to protect your bones from these fatal disorders yourself.