Osteoporosis is a bone thinning disease that can result in fractures. It is considered a “silent” disease as many people aren’t aware they have osteoporosis and are diagnosed with the condition only after they have sustained a fracture due to very minor trauma. As May is National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month, here are the top ways to prevent osteoporosis:
Exercise: Performing weight-bearing exercise 2-3 times a week not only strengthens your muscles, but also increases your bone density. Brisk walking, jogging, and lifting weights are all good examples of weight-bearing exercise.
Make sure your getting enough calcium & vitamin D: According to the National Institute of Health, adults require 1000 mg of calcium a day to keep their bones healthy and strong. Women above the age of 50 and men over the age of 70 require 1200 mg of calcium a day. Take calcium supplements if you are not getting enough calcium through your diet.
Spend 15-20 minutes in the sun: Sunlight triggers production of vitamin D which helps your body absorb calcium from food. Other sources of vitamin D include fortified milk, cereal, and orange juice as well as egg yolks.
Reduce salt intake: Too much consumption of salt in your diet increases the excretion of calcium through urine and sweat. Loss of calcium can spur bone loss resulting in osteoporosis.
Quit smoking: Smoking reduces your body’s ability to form new bone and interferes with the healing of fractures. Smoking cessation results in noticeable improvement in bone health.
Avoid medications that cause bone thinning: Check with your doctor about possible alternatives if you are on any medications such as certain steroids, anti-reflux medications, or antidepressants that can cause osteoporosis.
Drink alcohol in moderation: More than two drinks a day can inhibit absorption of calcium, cause depletion of calcium reserves, and prevent formation of bone.
There are certain risks factors for osteoporosis such as growing older, being a woman, having a family history of the disease, and being of Caucasian or Asian descent that can’t be changed; however, taking the precautions mentioned above can help slow down the progress of osteoporosis and prevent its complications.
The physicians of the Carrell Clinic are committed to providing the highest standards of excellence in orthopedic care. Book an appointment with us today.