Osteoporosis means “porous bone,” which is essentially a weak bone that has lost its density due to the breakdown of calcium. This condition isn’t something that happens overnight. It actually develops over time with age. That’s why it is possible to take steps early in life to minimize the effects of osteoporosis when you’re older. Here are some guidelines that can help curb the severity of osteoporosis later in life.
The nutrients that are best for your bones include vitamins C, D, and K, as well as calcium. Dairy is a common source of calcium, but certain non-dairy foods also contain this nutrient such as salmon, tuna, white beans, and tofu. And eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is an ideal way to get the vitamins and minerals essential for bone health. Consider incorporating foods like green leafy vegetables, red and green bell peppers, pineapple, oranges and strawberries into your diet.
Smoking cigarettes are detrimental to not only your bones but your overall health. Research shows that people who smoke have less bone mass and are more at risk for fractures than non-smokers. Females who smoke tend to produce less estrogen and go into menopause earlier than those who don’t smoke, which can increase bone loss.
Stay Physically Fit
Exercising and maintaining a healthy body weight can go a long way to protect yourself from developing osteoporosis. When you’re active, your bones get stronger, so try weight-bearing exercises like walking and aerobics to build stronger bones. Just be sure to talk to your doctor beforehand to make sure you’re doing what’s best for your particular body type.
Consider Your Medications
Certain medications can affect your bones negatively. A major one is a prednisone, an inflammatory used to treat arthritis. Prednisone weakens your bones by minimizing the amount of calcium your intestines absorb and increasing the amount your kidneys expel. To lessen the chances of bone damage, talk to your doctor about the outcomes of taking the lowest dose for the short amount of time needed to minimize inflammation. In addition, watch out for certain proton pump inhibitors used to control gastrointestinal irritations like esomeprazole (Nexium) and omeprazole (Prilosec).
To learn more about preventing and treating osteoporosis early on, or for more information about the services we provide, please contact our office or 805.682.1394.