How To Prevent Osteoporosis?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Posted by Mansi

If you are a woman in your early 40's or higher, you've probably experienced aches and pains in your bones, at least at some point in your life! I'm barely 30, and I still experience a shooting pain in my knees when I play a lot or go for a long and steep hike! Osteoporosis is an age-related disorder in which bones become gradually thinner, more porous and less able to support the body. This condition attacks both men and women, but women usually suffer more severely because bone loss accelerates rapidly after menopause. By the time a woman reaches the age of 70, she may have lost as much as 30 percent of her bone density! Osteoporosis is largely preventable for most people. Prevention of this disease is very important because, while there are treatments for osteoporosis, there is currently no cure for this ailment!

Building strong bones, especially before the age of 30, can be the best defense against developing osteoporosis, and a healthy lifestyle can be critically important for keeping bones strong. Lack of exercise, calcium and vitamin D deficiency,
prolonged use of drugs, alcohol, caffeine, high-phosphate soft drinks, or smoking, are all factors that can contribute to deteriorating bone strength. And though you may not realise it now, Osteoporosis is something that will manifest itself at a very later stage, and by that time, it may be too hard to overcome it!

So try these healthy changes in your lifestyle to prevent the pain of Osteoporosis:

Get plenty of exercise:
Weight-bearing exercises can help prevent bone loss and may encourage bone growth. Specific exercises to twist, bend, stretch and compress bones are needed to strengthen the common sites at risk: the upper arm at the shoulder, the forearm at the wrist, the thigh bone at the hip, and the spine. This process is known as "bone loading", and is extremely important.

Before beginning any exercise program, always consult your physician. If you're given the go-ahead, start slowly and build up over time. An ideal program should include bone-specific, aerobic weight-bearing exercise three days per week, as well as standard cardio and endurance training as a part of your regular workout.

Get More Calcium
Calcium is needed for the heart, muscles and nerves to function properly and for blood to clot. Inadequate calcium is thought to contribute to the development of osteoporosis. National nutrition surveys have shown that many women and young girls consume less than half the amount of calcium recommended to grow and maintain healthy bones.

According to NOF recommendations, adults under age 50 need 1,000 mg of calcium daily, and adults age 50 and over need 1,200 mg of calcium daily. If you have difficulty getting enough calcium from the foods you eat, you may take a calcium supplement to make up the difference.

Load Up on Vitamin-D
Vitamin D is needed for the body to absorb calcium. Without enough vitamin D, you will be unable to absorb calcium from the foods you eat, and your body will have to take calcium from your bones. Vitamin D comes from two sources: through the skin following direct exposure to sunlight and from the diet. Adults under age 50 need 400-800 IU of vitamin D3 daily, and adults age 50 and over need 800-1,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily. Vitamin D3 is the form of vitamin D that best supports bone health. It is also called cholecalciferol. Vitamin D can also be obtained from fortified milk, egg yolks, saltwater fish, liver and supplements.

Get a Bone Density Test
A Bone Mineral Density test (BMD) is the only way to diagnose osteoporosis and determine your risk for future fracture. Since osteoporosis can develop undetected for decades until a fracture occurs, early diagnosis is important. A BMD measures the density of your bones (bone mass) and is necessary to determine whether you need medication to help maintain your bone mass, prevent further bone loss and reduce fracture risk. So ask your doctor about one before it gets too late!

Regular exercise and a balanced diet are important components for preventing osteoporosis. By taking care of your bones now, they will stay strong enough to carry you safely through a lifetime of health and activity. Remember, Prevention is Better than Cure!

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This Post was written by Mansi from Fun and Food


I'm a MAN and I'm feeling all the aches and pains. Yes, I know I should exercise more but I don't do it often enough. Great Article!

Dharm said...
August 13, 2008 at 10:34:00 AM GMT+2  

I see my mom in pain and I realise I must do something before I become like her! so I've started being more conscious about my calcium and about lifting weights now. thanks for spreading awareness about osteoporosis!


anjali said...
August 13, 2008 at 5:44:00 PM GMT+2  

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