5 Easy Steps to Keep Your Osteoporosis Under Control
Osteoporosis causes your bones to become weak or brittle. It occurs when the creation of new bone doesn’t keep up with the removal of old bone. In some cases, bones can become so brittle that a fall or even a cough can cause bones to break or facture. Both men and women can be affected by osteoporosis, but generally women who have already gone through menopause are at a higher risk for osteoporosis. If you have osteoporosis or are at risk for it, here are 5 simple ways to help manage it:
1. Don’t Smoke. Smoking increases your risk of osteoporosis as it increases the rate of bone loss.
2. Minimize Alcohol Intake. Consuming more than two drinks a day can increase bone loss.
3. Prevent Falls. Wear shoes with nonslip soles and low heels. Check your house for electrical cords, area rugs, or slippery surfaces. Also, install a grab-bar inside and outside of your shower and be sure that you can get in and out of bed easily.
4. Increase Vitamin Intake. Calcium and vitamin D are essential for bone building and strengthening. Dairy products, black-eyed peas, and salmon are full of calcium. Vitamin D increases the amount of calcium the body absorbs. For many people, enough vitamin D can be absorbed through sunlight (make sure to use appropriate sun protection). Often, an over the counter vitamin D supplement is safer than simply increasing sun exposure. Talk with your doctor about supplements to see if they are necessary.
5. Get Active. Weight-bearing and resistance exercises are extremely beneficial for bone building and strength while flexibility stretches and balance exercises can reduce falls and fractures. Try and exercise 30 minutes a day/5 days a week.