Osteoporosis (What’s Best For Your Bones?)

Osteoporosis is a serious condition that is still silent. It seldom causes symptoms until a bone breaks and it’s overlooked by patients and physicians. Osteoporosis bones are so fragile that even mild physical stress can cause a fracture. Among adults over the age of 50, half of all women and one in eight men, will eventually break a bone weakened by the disease. Fracture complications kill as many women each year as breast cancer. The bones get thinner as adults get older, usually starting in their early thirties. The loss accelerated with age, especially in post menopausal women and in men about the age of 65 and older. While bone loss is inevitable, osteoporosis is not.

Getting enough calcium can help build bones early in life and slow the decline. It’s hard to get enough calcium without consuming dairy products. Almost everyone would benefit from consuming plenty of dairy foods but it’s also wise to get the calcium from plant foods too, which contain other potentially bone protecting nutrients like potassium, magnesium, vitamin C and other antioxidants, vitamin D by sunlight and vitamin K. Studies have linked a high produce diet with stronger bones. To boost your calcium intake, try focusing on high calcium foods or you can take supplement calcium.

Medical Risk Factors:

1. Endocrine disorders such as type 1 diabetes or an over active adrenal, thyroid or parathyroid gland.

2. Rheumatoid arthritis.

3. Digestive disorders that decrease calcium absorption.

4. Estrogen deficiency in premenopausal women.

5. Onset of menopause before age 45.

6. Testosterone deficiency in men.

7. Prolonged or excessive use of certain drugs that can thin the bones such as systemic steroids and lithium.

8. Fracture caused by only mild trauma. (Unlike the other factors, this is a sign of increased risk, not a cause.)

Other Risk Factors:

1. Osteoporosis in a mother, sister, or grandmother.

2. Heavy alcohol consumption.

3. Smoking cigarettes for many years.

4. Low body weight for a given height.

5. Being white or Asian.

6. Getting little weight bearing exercise.

7. Consuming much less than 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day in the years before menopause in woman or age 50 in men.

Foods Rich In Calcium:

Dairy products: Yogurt, milk and cheese.

Fish and shellfish: Atlantic sardines, pink salmon and blue crab.

Fruits and vegetables: Figs(dried), collard greens, bok choy, orange, mustard greens, butternut squash and Kale.

Grains: English muffin, bagel and whole wheat bread.

Legumes and nuts: Tofu (with calcium sulfate), black eyed peas, almonds, navy beans and great northern beans.

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