Can Heavy Smoking And Drinking Affect The Bone Density? Read On

Heavy alcohol consumption is detrimental to bone health and increases the risk of osteoporosis. In particular, heavy drinking decreases bone density and weakens bones. In addition to alcohol, tobacco use, might result in a lower peak bone mass and increase the likelihood of bone fractures.

Effects of consumption of alcohol and tobacco on the body

“Heavy consumption of alcohol and tobacco has an adverse effect on the body. Alcohol hampers the functioning of the liver and reduces the supply of vitamin D received by the bone. When there is no sufficient amount of this, the bones become brittle and will lose its strength. This often leads to osteoporosis, a condition that occurs due to lack of bone density. When smoking is involved, it delays the recovery of the bone when it is losing strength along with lung damage,” says Dr. Ratnakar Rao, HOD – Sr. Consultant Joint Replacements and Arthroscopic Surgeon, CARE Hospitals, HITEC City, Hyderabad.
Sedentary lifestyles often lead to Vitamin D deficiency. Women get this earlier at the age of 40 than men due to hormonal changes, menopause, and minimal outdoor activities.”We have come a decade down in terms of the age bracket and the younger generation is getting affected faster. There is a universal drop in this in our bodies as we are mostly indoors. Most of them often go for supplements but it affects them in the long run,” adds Dr Rao.

Can Lead To Fractures

Several studies have shown a correlation between smoking and decreased bone mineral density. Fractures are significantly more likely to occur in smokers than in non-smokers. “Smoking is known to increase the incidence of fractures associated with weaker bones, including those of the hip, spine, and others. Smoking cigarettes may be the cause of one in eight hip fractures. Aside from the threats to your heart and liver, excessive drinking is also harmful to your bones. Drinking too much alcohol disturbs the body’s delicate calcium balance, which is necessary to support and preserve healthy bones,” opines Dr Narayan Hulse, Director, Department of Orthopedics, Bone & Joint Surgery, Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road.

Alcohol’s potential to hinder the creation of vitamin D, a nutrient essential for the efficient absorption and utilisation of calcium, may further jeopardise the current calcium system.

In addition, both men and women who binge drink may get hormone imbalances. “Chronic alcohol drinking in women can lead to menstrual abnormalities, which raises the possibility of weaker bones and poses a threat to oestrogen levels. Alcoholism, on the other hand, is believed to block testosterone production in men, a crucial hormone linked to osteoblasts, cells that aid in the formation of bone,” adds Dr Hulse.

Keep Them Healthy
Bones require all forms of proteins and nutrients along with calcium and vitamin D to make it stronger.
Regular physical exercises and activities are essential to keep the bones from damage. One needs to engage in various physical activities and sweat it out in order to keep the bones healthy as they balance the entire body.

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