While we may remain young mentally, our bones will become thinner and less dense as we age. Some people develop a condition called osteoporosis, which means there is significantly more bone loss than usual and increases the risk of fractures.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to help maintain good bone health. Here are 10 things you can do today.
1. Eat Green and Leafy Vegetables
Dark green and leafy vegetables are rich in vitamin C and vitamin K, which are essential to bone mineralization, contribute to stronger and healthier bones.
2. Avoid Unhealthy Diet Fads
It’s important to maintain a healthy weight, but be careful of the fad diets that promise fast weight loss by eating unhealthily low calories. Crash and unhealthy diets can cause your bones to lack essential nutrients, which can worsen bone health.
3. Limit Caffeine Consumption
Heavy consumption of caffeine has been linked to reduced bone mass and a higher rate of fractures in some patients. If you must drink caffeinated drinks like coffee, restrict your intake to a 1 or 2 cups per day, and offset with calcium intake by taking your coffee with milk. Make sure to also drink a lot of water.
4. Do Weight-Bearing and Resistance Exercises
Exercises that force you to work against gravity, such as walking, dancing, and climbing stairs, and resistance exercises, like weight lifting can strengthen your bones, are great for bone health. These exercises are even part of osteoporosis prevention treatment plans.
5. Increase Vitamin D
Bones need vitamin D to absorb calcium. You need about 1,000 to 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily for optimal absorption. While there are vitamin D supplements, the best way to get your vitamin D is through morning sunlight. Talk to a doctor about what dosages are right for you. You may need more or less, depending on your overall health, age, and other health conditions.
6. Quit Smoking
Your smoking habit is cutting blood supply to your bones, which is important for good bone health. Nicotine slows your body’s production of osteoblasts, which is what’s needed to create new bone cells.
7. Drink Moderately
Alcohol has been linked to loss of bone mineral density. The less you drink, the better it will be for your bones.
8. Get Your Bone Mineral Density Tested Regularly
A bone density scan (DXA scan) is a quick and painless test that provides your doctor with information on your osteoporosis risk, which is valuable information. After menopause, you should get regular DXA scans.
9. Keep Medications Under Control
There are certain medications that you must take for disease management, and then there are those you take by choice. For example, corticosteroids and heartburn medication have been linked to poor calcium absorption and poor bone density. Talk to your doctor about medication management so you don’t have unnecessary side effects.
10.Undergo Therapy of Treatment to Improve Bone Health
Menopausal women who experience a drop in estrogen levels can receive hormonal treatments or hormone therapy. With therapy, the symptoms of menopause, such as mood swings, hot flashes, and excessive sweating, can be reduced. They also help maintain good bone health. For women and men diagnosed with osteoporosis, there are bisphosphonates to help reduce fracture risk.
Improve Your Bone Health and Reduce Fracture Risk in Maryland
At Greater Chesapeake Hand to Shoulder, bone specialists use advanced technologies to slow bone loss and improve bone health. We also treat fractures and have on-site X-rays available for a quick diagnosis.
To schedule a consultation with our orthopedic specialists, call Greater Chesapeake Hand to Shoulder at (410) 296-6232 or request an appointment now.