It is estimated that more than 200 million people suffer from osteoporosis.
This disease weakens bones because the production of new bone tissue can no longer keep up with the creation of new bone tissue. As a result, breaks and fractures are more likely to happen. In fact, most people do not even know they suffer from osteoporosis until a fracture occurs
1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men over the age of 50 will experience fractures due to osteoporosis.
There are measures you can take to prevent osteoporosis. Most of these are simple lifestyle adjustments that will go a long way in your overall health, including your bone health.
Consume a Healthy Diet
Consuming a healthy diet does not mean deprivation. We all need food to live and the nutritional value of the food we put into our bodies matters. It is ok to indulge in ice cream or a burger. That said, maintaining a healthy weight (and that number varies from person to person) and ensuring the food you consume is rich in nutrients will help prevent osteoporosis from being a problem later on.
- Calcium: Women younger than 50 need 1,000 mg a day while women older than 50 need about 1,200 mg a day
- Vitamin D: 600 IU of Vitamin d for people younger than 70 and 800 IU for people older than 70
- Protein: 4 grams of protein per pound of body weight
The key word is balance. Achieving and maintain balance so you are getting everything you need and still enjoying your life.
Commit to Regular Exercise
Regular exercise means different things to different people. For our purposes, we mean exercising for 30 minutes to an hour, three to four days a week. The types of exercises that assist with preventing osteoporosis are the following:
- Weight-bearing exercises like walking, running, yoga, and dancing
- Resistance exercises like weight-lifting, swimming, and using elastic bands
If you are a smoker, it is highly recommended that you quit. The process of quitting can be difficult, and it is definitely easier said than done. For a whole host of health reasons, including the health of your bones, smoking is simply not in your best interest.
Get a Bone Density Scan
People over the age of 60, especially women, can benefit from a DEXA scan so that any signs of osteoporosis can be caught as early as possible. If you have a family history of osteoporosis, you may want to consider scheduling this scan sooner. ImageCare Radiology offers bone density scans in New Jersey to diagnose and treat osteoporosis. Talk to your doctor about what is right for you and give us a call to schedule an appointment.