HOME   >   Useful Info   >   Medical Magazine

Useful Info

Print this page

Medical Magazine

[June 2019] Lifestyle Tips for Preventing Osteoporosis
Date 06-04-2019 16:22 Hit407
Lifestyle Tips for Preventing Osteoporosis


Osteoporosis means the loss of bone density, though causes can vary wildly. Bones become prone to fractures, and it is difficult to treat once serious fractures occur. It is important to know the risk factors and make daily efforts to prevent this terrible condition.






Risk Factors of Osteoporosis


Aging and menopause: Bone density reaches its peak at around age 30, and begins to decrease slowly until age 40 or so. The pace of loss in bone density then accelerates afterward. Bone density in women tends to decrease drastically during and after menopause, which is one of the reasons osteoporosis is significantly more common in women than men.
Genetics: The mass and quality of bones are also determined, to a significant extent, by genes. If you have a family history of osteoporosis, it is all the more necessary for you to make efforts to prevent it.





Smoking and drinking: Nicotine, tar, cadmium, and other such compounds in cigarettes interfere with blood circulation, blocking the supply of nutrients to the bones. They also reduce the concentration of feminine hormones, causing premature menopause. These substances, furthermore, interfere with the absorption of vitamins and minerals into the body, leading to deterioration in both the mass and quality of the bones. Excess alcohol absorption in the body also facilitates the discharge of calcium, raising the risk of osteoporosis.
Drugs and other medical conditions: Prescription drugs for certain illnesses, including steroids, anticancer agents, and thyroid drugs are associated with increased risks of osteoporosis. Diabetes, sexual hormone disorders, and rheumatoid arthritis can also become causes of osteoporosis. Consult your doctor if you have any of these conditions and are worried about the risks of osteoporosis.







Symptoms and Signs of Osteoporosis


The majority of osteoporosis patients do not realize that they have the condition until they sustain a major fracture. While fractures can affect any part of the body, the wrists, the spine and the hip joints are most prone to fractures in osteoporosis patients. If you are at a risk of developing osteoporosis and feel pain in your wrist, spine, and/or hip joint, minor fractures and osteoporosis may be the cause. If you feel your height has decreased and you have become shorter, you should see a doctor and get tested. Diagnoses are made mostly on the basis of bone density test results.






Foods for Preventing Osteoporosis


It is ideal to start efforts to prevent osteoporosis in your early 30s when bone density begins to decrease, rather than later. If you drink and/or smoke, the loss of bone density may have begun in your 20s.




Calcium and vitamin D are the two compounds that are most crucial to bone mass and quality.
Calcium: A generally recommended daily calcium intake for an adult is 1,000 milligrams (mg). Up to 1,200 mg are recommended for menopausal and post-menopausal women. Calcium-rich foods include milk, anchovies, cheese, mackerels, seaweed (wakame), bean curd, eggs, and beef.
Vitamin D: It is difficult for the body to absorb calcium from foods when the body is in vitamin D deficiency. We either synthesize vitamin D from sun exposure or absorb it from foods. Foods rich in vitamin D include fish, especially salmon, mackerel, tuna, and sardines, and mushrooms, such as shiitake. Vitamin D from foods is best absorbed when eaten with fat.
Estrogen: Estrogen, the female hormone, is a key factor of bone density. Foods rich in estrogen include pomegranates, peaches, nuts (especially walnuts and pistachio), legumes, sesame seeds, and flaxseeds.





Exercises for Preventing Osteoporosis


Exercise cannot increase bone mass, which is mostly genetically determined, but it is certain that it effectively helps prevent the loss of bone mass. It is important to exercise for at least 30 minutes to an hour every day to avoid osteoporosis.
The easiest exercise recommended is walking in the sunlight for at least 30 minutes daily. Sun exposure will replenish vitamin D in the body as well. Light cardio exercises, such as walking up the stairs, and mild calisthenics are also recommended. Rigorous exercise should be avoided, as it may overexert the body and could increase the risks of osteoporosis and fractures. If you find walking (whether on the flat ground or up the stairs) difficult, swimming may be a better alternative for you.







Never-Do’s


- Excessive drinking
- Smoking
- Excess sodium (responsible for loss of calcium)
- Poor weight maintenance (both underweight and overweight)