In March 2002, the president noted 2002-2011 as the National Bone and Joint decade in the US. As we complete its final year, much needed attention has been given to the crippling effects of osteoporosis. Do you know what you can do to prevent it?
Osteoporotic bones have low mass, which means they are thin and fragile, increasing their risk for fracturing. These fractures are most commonly found in the hip, spine, and wrist. Currently in the US, 10 million people are said to already have the disease, and 34 million are estimated to have low bone mass (or low bone density), placing them at high risk for developing the disease.
Many people still think that osteoporosis is only for the old and fragile. Well, think again. The disease can come at any age. Therefore, building strong, dense, bones and following a healthy lifestyle while you are young is incredibly important. Prevention is the best defense in the development osteoporosis.
Men and especially women under the age of 30, should be aware that their lifestyle today, is influencing their bone health for the future. And even though there are treatments for osteoporosis, there is no cure.
There are some simple steps that you can do to help lower your risk for developing osteoporosis.
• Balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D
• Weight bearing exercises
• Refrain from smoking and limit alcohol intake
• Discuss with your doctor bone density testing
Getting Calcium into Your Diet
Calcium is a pretty important mineral. It serves a function in blood clotting and
muscle contraction. It also helps regulate your hormone responses. But most importantly, it is involved in the formation and maintenance of your bones. So you can see why it is very useful to replenish your supply everyday.
Dairy products, such as milk and cheese, are major contributors of calcium in
North American diets. An adequate intake for US adults under the age of fifty is about 1000 milligrams per day. After fifty the amount increases to 1200 milligrams per day. There are plenty of food sources that you can get your daily requirements. Some of those are listed below:
• Milk, cheese (except cottage cheese)
• Canned Salmon
• Calcium fortified orange juice, breakfast cereals, snacks
Did you know….
Failure to maintain enough bone mass could be caused by vitamin D deficiency (osteomalacia), certain medications, or cancer. If none of these are present, the
diagnosis is then osteoporosis.