How to Prevent Osteoporosis

Genetic factors determine the chances of an individual developing osteoporosis. However, other factors such as physical activity and diet can also come into play. Osteoporosis is a condition whereby the bones become abnormally thin, weak and very easy to get fractured. It is common in aged people. Women are also at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis, especially after menopause. Luckily, there are ways to prevent osteoporosis, which aids in maintaining or increasing bone mass and density.

How to Prevent Osteoporosis

1.   Make Healthy Food Choices

The bones require a wide array of nutrients which include vitamins D, K and C and mineral calcium. Dairy products low in fat are the main sources of calcium and in most cases, they are fortified with vitamin D. Other non-dairy foods that are rich in calcium include salmon, mackerel, sardines, tuna, tofu, and white beans. Kales, broccoli, cabbage, collard greens, and spinach are good sources of vitamin K. On the other hand, strawberries, pineapples, oranges, Brussels sprout and peppers are rich in vitamin C.

2.   Moderate Alcohol and Soda Intake

High alcohol consumption is harmful to your liver and bone mass as well. It is recommended to take one drink a day or up to seven per week for women and to take not more than two per day and up to ten per week for men. Recent studies link heavy consumption of cola to lowered bone density. However, the mechanism of the action is yet to be identified.

3.   Quit Smoking

Smoking is a habit that is harmful to your lungs and bones as well. Studies indicate that most smokers have lower bone mass and are at higher risk of bone fractures than people who don't smoke. The risk increases with the years of smoking. Moreover, women who smoke regularly produce lower levels of estrogen and this causes early menopause.

4.   Supplement Your Diet

One of the methods about how to prevent osteoporosis is taking supplements. The doctor or the physician may recommend that you take over-the-counter drugs with the vitamins, minerals and folate which reduces the levels of homocysteine, a compound known to reduce bone density. Ostiva is a prescription drug which has vitamin B6, magnesium, metafolin, vitamin D and vitamin B12. If you consume corticosteroids such as prednisone, then you may be required to increase ingestion of vitamin D.

5. Spend Some Time Under The Sun

The skin synthesizes vitamin D when exposed to the sun. The body needs vitamin D to build healthy bones and absorb calcium from the diet. Depending on your location and the skin pigmentation, spending at least five to thirty minutes several times a week is essential for bone density and growth. If you live in areas with the scorching sun, use sunscreen before exposing yourself to the sun.

6.    Review Your Medications

Medications such as corticosteroids normally prescribed for inflammatory forms of arthritis are known to weaken the bones. This type of medications weakens the bone by decreasing the levels of calcium absorption. A way to reduce the effect is to take lower dosage for a short period. Another category of medication is proton pump inhibitors such as esomeprazole and omeprazole. 

7.   Eat Less Salt

Eating less salt is another solution if you wonder how to prevent osteoporosis. A Japanese study indicates that older women who took high amounts of sodium are four times more likely to suffer from bone fractures. Salt contains sodium which speeds up calcium loss, and this affects bone mass and density. It is recommended that you do not take food which has more than 20% of sodium intake on a daily basis. Always check the levels of sodium in processed foods.

8.   Cut Out Caffeine

For every cup of coffee you consume, you lose 150mg of calcium in your urine. Decaffeinated coffee is not the solution because it still has harmful chemicals which interfere with the detox process. However, decaffeinated tea is a better option.

9.   Eat Enough Protein

Protein is an essential food group, because it releases compounds essential in the building of bones. While most people get the required protein from foods, vegetarians tend to consume less protein. However, they can supplement it by taking soy, eggs, dairy, and legumes. Nuts are an excellent choice, because they are rich in calcium and protein.

10.   Have Your Hormones Checked

Decline in the levels of hormone is a common cause of bone loss after menopause for most women. Andropause is the same condition in men, and it causes the loss of bone density and mass. Bone maintenance requires adequate levels of hormones, such as progesterone, estrogen and testosterone. The excess level of the insulin, cortisol and parathyroid hormone is known to cause loss of bone mass and density. 

11.   Reduce Stress

Stress management is one of the methods about how to prevent osteoporosis. Stress is known to increase the level of cortisol in the system, which results in loss of bone mass and density. Reducing stress through activities to invoke relaxation response. Some of these activities include meditation, tai chi, yoga, prayer, and massage. In addition, these activities contribute to more sleep.

12.   Do Exercise

  • Weight-bearing exercises are essential in increasing bone mass and density. High-impact exercises such as skipping, running, dancing, jumping and aerobics will strengthen your ligaments and joints.
  • Resistance exercises, on the other hand, use muscle to boost the strength of the bones. You can try weight lifting and press-ups.
  • Balance and mobility exercises do not play a significant role in improving bone strength. However, it prevents falling incidences.
 
 
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