Do you realize that one in two Americans over the age of 50 are expected to be at risk for Osteoporosis?
What does this exactly mean to you? Bone is living tissue that is constantly being broken down and replaced. Osteoporosis occurs when the creation of new bone doesn’t keep up with the loss of old bone. When you’re young, your body makes new bone faster than it breaks down old bone and your bone mass increases. Most people reach their peak bone mass by age 30. Peak bone mass is partly inherited and varies also by ethnic group.
The higher your peak bone mass, the more bone you have and the less likely you are to develop osteoporosis as you age. Osteoporosis is called a “silent disease” because you may not notice any changes until a bone breaks. Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and brittle, commonly occur in the hip, wrist, or spine.
Osteoporosis affects men and women of all races. Your unchangeable risk factors are your sex, age, race, family history and body frame size. Hormone levels and dietary factors weigh on your risks, as do certain medical conditions and medications you may be on.
In the early stages of bone loss, there really are no symptoms. This is why testing and tracking is important. What are the signs when you do have weakened bones?
- Back pain, caused by a fractured or collapsed vertebra
- Loss of height over time
- A stooped posture
- A bone that breaks much more easily than expected
You have risk factors that you have the ability to change with lifestyle choices to prevent bone loss.
- Sedentary lifestyle. People who spend a lot of time sitting have a higher risk of osteoporosis than do those who are more active.
- Excessive alcohol consumption. Regular consumption of more than two alcoholic drinks a day increases the risk of osteoporosis.
- Tobacco use. The exact role tobacco plays in osteoporosis isn’t clear, but it has been shown that tobacco use contributes to weak bones.
Get up and start moving!
Combine strength training exercises with weight-bearing and balance exercises, this goes for every age. It is never too early or too late to start.
- Strength training helps strengthen muscles and bones in your arms and upper spine.
- Weight-bearing exercises — such as walking, jogging, running, stair climbing, skipping rope, skiing and impact-producing sports — affect mainly the bones in your legs, hips and lower spine.
- Balance exercises such as tai chi and yoga can reduce your risk of falling especially as you get older.
Change your eating habits.
Before you put that spoon in your mouth, look at what is on it and think…will this add to my health or detract from it?
Good sources of calcium include:
- Low-fat dairy products
- Dark green leafy vegetables
- Canned salmon or sardines with bones
- Soy products, such as tofu
- Calcium-fortified cereals and orange juice
Taking calcium supplements, beginning at age 18, can absolutely assist in keeping bones healthy. Men and women between the ages of 18 and 50 need 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day. This daily amount increases to 1,200 milligrams when women turn 50 and men turn 70. Dietary changes adding good sources of calcium are a bonus.
Vitamin D improves the body’s ability to absorb calcium and improves bone health in other ways. People can get some of their vitamin D from sunlight. Dietary sources of vitamin D include cod liver oil, trout, and salmon. Many types of milk and cereal have been fortified with vitamin D.
BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW
Eating foods that have a lot of salt (sodium) causes your body to lose calcium and can lead to bone loss.
Beans, seeds, nuts, and grains, while very healthy food choices, are high in phytates When you eat foods high in phytic acid, the molecules bind with certain minerals in your digestive tract, including:
Coffee, tea, and soft drinks (sodas) contain caffeine, which may decrease calcium absorption and contribute to bone loss. Choose these drinks in moderation.
Part of our practice is to educate our patients to avoid injuries and live a healthy, pain-free life.
If you are experiencing health issues, Dr. David Lopez has 2 convenient offices. Awarded NJ Top Doc for many years in a row, his extensive training allows him to access your needs and your medical needs to find the best solution for you and your lifestyle.
200 White Road, Suite 101
Little Silver, NJ 07739
Phone (732) 888-2100
Fax (732) 888-2188
3840 Park Avenue, Bldg A, Suite 101
Edison, NJ 08820
Phone (732) 888-2100
Fax (732) 888-2188