5 Ways To Prevent And Control Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a condition that makes your bones fragile and easy to fracture. It is often called a silent disease because it does not show symptoms in earlier stages. Hence it becomes important to start taking care of your bones soon. Read more to learn about 5 ways to prevent osteoporosis.
What Are The 5 Ways To Prevent Osteoporosis?
1. Getting A Sufficient Amount Of Calcium Is The Best Way To Prevent Osteoporosis
Our body needs calcium to build up and maintain bones healthily and stronger. Getting the right quantity of calcium is the first step in keeping bones healthy. Adults aged between 19 & 50 need 1000mg of calcium each day. Women aged above fifty and men aged above seventy need 1200 mg of calcium per day.
Calcium-rich food sources are milk and other dairy foods, broccoli, cabbage, nuts, sardines, salmon, and sesame seeds. Remember, if you take foods high in salt, it can make the body lose calcium. Excessive consumption of caffeine-rich products such as coffee, tea, and sodas can reduce calcium absorption. Also, foods rich in phytates, such as beans and wheat bran, can prevent the body from absorbing calcium.
2. Getting Enough Vitamin D Is Also Important
Calcium is vital for bones, while vitamin D is vital for the body to absorb calcium. Vitamin D deficiencies can limit the amount of calcium absorbed by the body. Some of the food sources rich in vitamin D are salmon, tuna, sardines, avocados, eggs, and milk. Sunlight triggers the production of vitamin D in our body, so exposure to sunlight is essential. It’s better to get the exposure before 10 am as the UV rays will be strongest after 10 am. UV rays can harm the skin.
Other than calcium and vitamin D, other nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin K, zinc, magnesium, and selenium can help keep the bones healthy.
3. Exercise Regularly
Exercise is one best ways to prevent osteoporosis. Poor posture, balance, and muscle weakness can increase the risk of falls and fractures. Regular exercise can improve muscle and bone strength and help prevent osteoporosis. Weight-bearing and resistant exercises are particularly helpful in increasing bone strength. Weight-bearing exercises include running, dancing, skipping, and aerobics.
Resistant exercises include press-ups and weight lifting. Aim for at least one-fifty minutes of moderate physical activity per week or 75 minutes of intense physical activity per week. You can also try yoga or tai-chi. A 2016 study states that 12 minutes of daily yoga help reverse bone loss. Tai-chi is more suitable for older people as it does not involve rapid physical movements. If you are trying these activities for the first time, be sure to get advice from a professional instructor.
4. Say No To Smoking And Drinking
Tobacco smoke contains more than 7000 chemicals which can affect the heart, lungs and immune system and lead to many chronic conditions. By quitting smoking alone, you can reduce half the risk of developing osteoporosis. Both alcohol consumption and smoking can lead to bone loss and increase the risk of fractures.
Alcohol can interfere with vitamin D synthesis and disrupt the calcium balance. Work with the health care professional to find out the effective ways of quitting these habits. If you still want to continue to drink, try not to drink more than the standard drink size.
5. Consider Screening If You Are At High Risk Of Osteoporosis
A bone density scan called DEXA, which helps determine if you have osteoporosis or are at risk, is usually recommended for women over the age of 65 and men over the age of 70. If your physician suspects you might have osteoporosis, he/she may suggest this bone density test for you. Or, if you think you have any risk factors, you can discuss this with your doctor about getting this test earlier.
The risk factors for osteoporosis include
- Had early menopause (before the age of 45)
- Being a postmenopausal woman aged fifty or older
- Not exercising regularly
- Heavy drinking and smoking
- Low body mass index (BMI)
- Family history of osteoporosis
- Had an organ transplant or weight loss surgery
- Diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple myeloma, and other medical conditions that trigger osteoporosis
- Taking steroidal medicines in high doses for more than 3 months
Be Aware And Improve Your Bone Health
Both men and women begin steps to prevent osteoporosis from a young age. If you think you are at risk of osteoporosis, consult your doctor. Earlier diagnosis can help manage the condition easily and avoid life-altering fractures.