How to Take Care of Your Bones in Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is such a disease of the bones that makes them weak and susceptible to a fracture. One in three women over the age of 50 will experience an osteoporotic fracture, and so will one in five men. Around 10 million Americans are suffering from osteoporosis, and another 44 million are at risk because of low bone density.
Multiple factors can lead to osteoporosis, with the most common being menopause and aging in women and smoking and poor diet in men. Unfortunately, there are no clinical manifestations of osteoporosis until one experiences a fracture. Osteoporosis compromises the quality of life and increases the odds of a disability-adjusted life span.
The disease also comes with several financial implications and becomes a burden on the health insurance systems of the countries that provide care to such patients. Osteoporosis can be prevented by keeping a check on bone mineral density, and early treatment can save the patient from deadly fractures.
Without going for the right treatment of the disease, the risk of suffering from multiple new fractures becomes quite high. Instead of suffering so much at the hands of this ailment, it is better to opt for a healthier lifestyle that can help in building bone strength. Here are some of the tips that will ensure the health of your bones:
Increase the Intake of Calcium and Vitamin D
Calcium builds strong bones but it is absorbed in them with the help of Vitamin D. Any patient getting treatment for osteoporosis should have both Calcium and Vitamin D checked in their blood tests as it is their combination that gives strength to the bones. Unfortunately, Americans don’t get enough of these nutrients due to their lifestyle.
It was estimated that most American women can get less than 500 milligrams of Calcium in their diet. As we get older, even our skin is unable to absorb a sufficient amount of Vitamin D. Moreover, regular use of sunscreen while moving out also reduces the levels of absorption.
Some foods that contain a rich amount of Calcium include canned salmon, cottage cheese, spinach, broccoli, milk, low-fat yogurt, etc. If you incorporate reasonable amounts of these healthy foods into your diet, it will not only make your bones stronger but also take you towards an energy-rich and healthy lifestyle.
There are two types of calcium supplements available in the store shelves – calcium carbonate that must be taken with food for the body to absorb it, and calcium citrate that can be taken without food. Most of the calcium pills contain vitamin D in them, but one can boost the intake through Vitamin D3 supplements as they are better absorbed in the body.
Improve Balance and Strength through Exercises
People who are suffering from osteoporosis worry about the risks of incorporating intense physical activity in their lives. After all, aren’t you more likely to fall if you are hiking or running on a treadmill? What could be better for your frail bones than to sit in the comfortable armchair all day long and take ample rest?
However, the truth is exactly the opposite. With more physical activity, you make your bones stronger and the chances of you falling are lessened immensely. This is because your reflexes become sharp and muscles get stronger as you work out, which in turn, improves your balance and coordination.
With the help of calcium supplements and osteoporosis medicines, one can prevent bone loss. It makes room for the bones to rebuild themselves, but they also need encouragement to do so. It is through the right exercises advised by specialists at an orthopedic hospital that one can regain the strength of the bones and rebuild the skeleton.
Most of the experts recommend a combination of weight-bearing exercises (walking), balance and flexibility exercises (yoga), and resistance exercises (weight-lifting). Avoid intense exercises because undue physical pressure can actually lead to a fracture instead of improving the density of the bones.
Keep a Tab on Your Health through Regular Medical Examination
There are plenty of factors that can lead to the loss of bone mineral density. The use of strong medicines to treat certain chronic diseases comes with its share of side effects. These medicines increase the risk of developing osteoporosis, but this is often overlooked by the patients who are inclined to find a solution to their current problem.
On the other hand, some medicines can cause dizziness or improper balance, causing the person to fall and experiencing a fracture because of frail bones. The medical specialist must examine your complete medical history, carry out bone density tests, and prescribe medicines that are safe for you given your condition.
A simple X-ray test called DXA lets the doctors get a clear snapshot of bone health. The test is not only painless but gives quick results regarding the determination of risks posed at your bones, given the underlying condition of osteoporosis. These tests should be carried out as early as possible, but women should not wait more than two years after hitting menopause.
Avoid Unhealthy Habits and Stay Careful Always
The first step to improve your health is to bring a healthy change to your lifestyle. From the foods you consume to your sleeping pattern, everything plays a significant role in determining if you are a healthy person. Bringing a change to your lifestyle will also impact the health of bones and make them less susceptible to any kind of damage.
Bad habits will always bring about bad news. Tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption are associated with loss of bone mineral density. There is no point in working out and eating healthy if you are not ready to give up on your tobacco and alcohol use. Nicotine is toxic to the bones and counteracts all the medication.
Make sure to adopt a healthy sleeping regime so that your body gets enough rest to function throughout the day. Getting less than 8 hours of sleep weakens every inch of your body, including your bones, so make sure that you don’t compromise on your sleep if you want to stay active, alert, and fresh during the day.
You must be extra cautious while carrying out even the simplest of tasks like climbing stairs or driving. Because when suffering from osteoporosis, a simple jerk to the neck and lead to prolonged whiplash treatment. Even keeping your home well-lit at all times is necessary, so that you don’t stumble on things in the dark.
Irrespective of how careful you are, certain types of bone fractures are impossible to avoid. For example, you might end up in the hands of a car accident doctor who is treating you for your wounds and broken bones due to a car crash. In severe osteoporosis, even a mild bump or coughing is enough to cause a fracture.
It is your responsibility to work on your bone health before things get worse. You can’t control fractures, but you can minimize the risk by following the above-mentioned tips. Not only will you feel that your quality of life has improved but you will also be able to enjoy exciting physical activities that seemed impossible before.