As we age the immune system in the human body loses its ability to fight the diseases. The muscles and bones become fragile and weak. The body gets exposed to various health issues and the bone degeneration in elderly is one among them. It is caused by insufficient or lack of vitamin D which is vital for the strength of the bones. In this condition, bones get fractured or broken even for smallest falls or slips. These small falls can also be fatal sometimes for seniors due to the vulnerability of their bones. So, it is essential to prevent falls at this age and also as much important to provide the seniors with sufficient Vitamin D contented food, to strengthen the bones. This helps the elderly in sustaining falls with less impact.
What is Vitamin D?
It is also called as Sunshine vitamin. This vitamin is responsible for absorbing calcium, magnesium, phosphates and zinc that is available in food. It is produced by the body when the skin is exposed to the sunlight. As the bones of elderly get weak by age, intake of this vitamin in the form of food and supplements reinforces bone strength in elderly. It is very much important for them to take food that contains vitamin D.
Food that Contains Vitamin D
It is rich in the foods such as fish, cod-liver oil and egg yolks carry great amount of vitamin D. Also, green leaves and grains can be good resources of this vitamin. Apart from these, milk, yogurt and cereals also contain Vitamin D.
How Vitamin D Reduces the Risk caused by Falls
The chances for an elderly to fall are higher compared to a youngster. There are various reasons for it including poor vision and body balance. Hence, it is vital to ensure the senior’s bones are strong and can bear the impact as much as possible, during a fall. If taken in the right amount, vitamin D maintains the bone density at higher levels so that they can withstand the pressure on bones, preventing them from any breaks or fractures. The normal D vitamin intake per day should be 700-800 IU in old people. Anything less than this causes various bone diseases such as Osteoporosis.
It is greatly advisable if the vitamin D is consumed in a natural way rather than through supplements – the natural ways such as taking D vitamin contented food and through the sunshine. However, oral supplements is also a great source of vitamin D in the cases of deficiency. There is a need to consult the doctor before taking these supplements as excess vitamin D increases the calcium levels in the body which is not good for health. Supplements will have a more positive impact if complimented by regular physical activities and healthy diet.
Vitamin D is vital in maintaining the strength of the bones and reduces the risk of bone injury during a fall. There are natural resources for vitamin D such as cod liver oil, fish and walking in the sunshine, especially during early mornings and evenings. If the vitamin D is being taken in the form of oral supplements, there is a need to seek doctor’s advice. It is also essential to check on a regular basis, the levels of calcium and zinc in blood while taking these supplements. There are some home healthcare providers for elders who monitor calcium levels and help in keeping any side-effects at the bay. Seniors can book their regular elderly health checkup for the prevention of any complications.
The bitter truth is falls are more dangerous to seniors as the consequences are worse than one can think. It is important to prevent falls by designing senior-friendly homes by making small modifications to the house.