OSTEOPOROSIS

OSTEOPOROSIS

OSTEOPOROSIS

Osteoporosis means "porous bones." Our bones are strongest at about age 30 then they begin to lose density. More than 10 million Americans have osteoporosis, which is significant bone loss that increases the risk of fracture. About half of women 50 and older will have an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime. While some factors are inevitable and uncontrollable, there are three main lifestyle changes WOMEN AT ANY AGE can implement and take control of their health to ensure healthy bones, which I will list below later. Ladies, I wish someone would have given me a heads up about this wonderful happening in my life when I was younger. It probably was mentioned, but I ignored it.  I do take calcium supplements twice a day and additional Vitamin D for absorption of the calcium.  I am due for a bone density test soon, which is a really easy test for osteoporosis. The results of a bone density test are as follows: If your T-score is -1 and above, your bone density is considered normal; a score between -1 and -2.5 is a sign of osteopenia, a condition in which bone density is below normal and may lead to osteoporosis; a score between -2.5 and below means that your bone density indicates you likely have osteoporosis.  Oh, and by the way, this test is painless, so don’t be afraid of this one. Now, let’s get into the three suggested lifestyle changes.  I hope these will help inform ALL WOMEN, young and “not so young” to protect their precious bones – read on:
  1. EAT A WELL-BALANCED DIET OF CALCIUM AND VITAMIN D:  Foods that are rich in calcium and Vitamin D will nourish bones with the nutrients needed to remain strong and healthy. Among the most important foods are vegetables and fruit. Leafy greens pack a lot of calcium and vitamins. Additionally, canned fish, such as sardines and salmon with the bones, supply a healthy dose of calcium as well as other healthy nutrients. Lastly, low-fat dairy products can aid in providing calcium to the body.
  2. EXERCISEMovement always does a body good, but two particular types of exercise are good for strong bones. Weight-bearing exercise is beneficial because it uses the body’s own weight to build muscles during exercises through high or low-impact activity. Examples of weight-bearing exercise are running, walking, dancing and stair climbing, to name a few. The second important type of exercise for healthy bones is muscle-strengthening exercises. These exercises require weights or resistance against gravity. Examples of muscle-strengthening exercises are: lifting weights, functional movements such as squatting and lunging, and yoga and pilates, which are great for building core strength.
  3. AVOID SMOKING & LIMIT ALCOHOL CONSUMPTIONDrinking alcohol heavily decreases calcium absorption, leading to weaker bones. Limit alcoholic beverages to fewer than three a day. Additionally, large amounts of caffeine can decrease absorption as well, so also limit coffee and sodas to a few servings a day.

There are risk factors that you can't control.  Women who are thin and have a small frame are more likely to develop osteoporosis. Heredity plays a role and so does ethnicity. It is more common among people of Caucasian and Asian descent, though African Americans and Hispanics may still be at risk. Some conditions, such as type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and hormonal disorders are also linked to bone loss. Now that I am older and not exercising as much as I want to or used to exercise, I am looking into taking a YOGA or PILATES class soon.  I am not a big drinker of alcohol and I don’t smoke, but I do like my caffeine, so I need to work on curtailing that consumption and drink more WATER! So ladies, young and “not so young,” join me in attempting to follow the above suggestions to help protect us all from developing osteoporosis.