5 Steps to Reduce Your Risk of Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis, a progressive condition marked by brittle bones, affects an estimated 200 million people, including one in three women over age 50 worldwide. Research shows that early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent osteoporosis from worsening and guard against fractures. Thankfully, you can also take lifestyle steps to lower your risk for developing it.

Engage in weight-bearing exercise

Similar to muscles, bones get stronger with exercise. When you engage in weight-bearing exercise, your body is forced to work against gravity, prompting the creation of new bone. Examples of weight-bearing activities include: 

Don’t forget strength-training

Strength-training also helps prevent osteoporosis, because it doesn’t only strengthen your muscles, but your bones as well. Meanwhile, they increase flexibility and balance, lowering your risk of falling. This is important, given that falling is the leading cause of hip fractures. 

To build muscle and bone at the same time, consider these activities:

Eat a healthy diet

Bones develop during youth when foods rich in nutrients and adequate calcium intake are especially important. Throughout adulthood, healthy eating habits can help you better maintain the bone mass you developed. Helpful habits to prioritize include:

Most teenagers and adults need between 1,000 and 1,300 milligrams of calcium per day. This is equal to 3-4 servings of dairy products or fortified foods.

Get enough vitamin D

Vitamin D, which helps keep bones strong, doesn’t occur naturally in many foods. If you don’t consume enough, a healthy dose of sunlight might be enough to meet your needs. You shouldn’t go overboard, however, because sun exposure increases your risk for skin cancer. If you aren’t able to meet your vitamin D needs through diet or sunshine, talk to your doctor about supplements. Your vitamin D levels can be checked through a basic blood test.

See your doctor regularly

If you’re at high risk for osteoporosis, due to factors such as being over age 65 or chronically underweight, your doctor may recommend a bone density test. If you’re losing bone density at an alarming rate or you show early signs of osteoporosis, medication can be prescribed to help you better maintain bone mass and strength. The most common test is called a DEXA scan and uses only a small amount of radiation.

To learn more about osteoporosis prevention call Dr. Shawn Veiseh or request an appointment on our website. Together, we can make a plan to keep osteoporosis at bay!

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