Seven Ways To Fight Osteoporosis

older couple

As we age, the concern about bone health increases. One of the issues that many people want to try and avoid is osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones weaken and are more likely to fracture. Fractures from osteoporosis can result in pain and disability. It is a serious health concern that should be the top priority for many people, but especially women and it can often be prevented. It is never too late to adopt new habits for healthy bones.
So, what can you do to help prevent osteoporosis from occuring? Below are five tips that could help.

Seven ways to help fight osteoporosis

1 – Take a good look at your salt intake

According to many studies, it appears that there is a relationship between a high sodium intake and bone loss, particularly for people with high blood pressure. Salt can increase the amount of calcium your body excretes, in urine and sweat, which can lead to bone loss, especially in people who do not get enough calcium through their diet. It is recommended that adults eat no more than 6g of salt a day. Remember, you don’t have to be adding salt to your food in order to have a salt intake. 75% of the salt we eat is already in everyday foods such as bread, breakfast cereal and ready meals. For more information on what foods are high in salt and also which foods may contain hidden salt, click here.

2 – Don’t drink fizzy drinks

Carbonated drinks can have a negative impact on your bone health. A high intake of cola—whether decaffinated, diet, or caffeinated — was linked to a greater risk of bone thinning in a large 2006 study. Cola is high in phospohrus, which along with the other ingredients in cola extract, could have a detrimental effect on bone health say the authors of the study.
Carbonated drinks also play a role in weight gain, which can also lead to adverse effects on bone health. Look for other healthy alternatives when you reach out for something to drink, such as water or low calorie beverages with little to no sugar. Your bones will thank you.

3 – Don’t smoke

Not only is smoking bad for your lungs, it is also bad for your bones. Cigarette smoking was first identified as a risk factor for osteoporosis more than 20 years ago. Recent studies have shown a direct relationship between tobacco use and decreased bone density. Analyzing the impact of cigarette smoking on bone health is complicated. It is hard to determine whether a decrease in bone density is due to smoking itself or to other risk factors common among smokers.In addition, most studies on the effects of smoking suggest that smoking increases the risk of having a fracture. Not all studies support these findings, but the evidence is mounting. For example:

  • The longer you smoke and the more cigarettes you consume, the greater your risk of fracture in old age.
  • Smokers who fracture may take longer to heal than nonsmokers and may experience more complications during the healing process.
  • Significant bone loss has been found in older women and men who smoke.
  • At least one study suggests that exposure to secondhand smoke during youth and early adulthood may increase the risk of developing low bone mass.
  • Compared with nonsmokers, women who smoke often produce less estrogen (a sex hormone) and tend to experience menopause earlier, which may lead to increased bone loss.
  • Quitting smoking appears to reduce the risk of low bone mass and fractures. However, it may take several years to lower a former smoker’s risk.

Information taken from the NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Centre.

4 – Get more calcium

Are you getting enough calcium? This is a critical thing to know if you are looking to avoid osteoporosis. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), adults should get 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily. And the recommendation goes up to 1,200 milligrams for women over 50 and men over 70.
Good sources of calcium include low-fat dairy products; dark green, leafy vegetables; and calcium-fortified foods and beverages. Supplements can help ensure that you get adequate amounts of calcium each day, especially in people with a proven milk allergy.

5 – Did you get enough Vitamin D today?

When people think of vitamin D, they think of going outside and getting sunshine. It turns out that this might be a good idea for your bone health as well. Vitamin D plays an important role in calcium absorption and bone health. Food sources of vitamin D include egg yolks, saltwater fish, and liver. Many people, especially those who are older, may need vitamin D supplements to achieve the recommended intake of 600 to 800 IU (International Units) each day.

It is difficult to specify exactly how long people should aim to be in the sun for. This is because the time required to make sufficient vitamin D varies according to a number of environmental, physical and personal factors and may vary between individuals. It is believed that the time required is “typically short and less than the time needed to redden or burn”. Regularly going outside for a few minutes around the middle of the day without sunscreen is suggested as best and that “the more skin that is exposed the greater the chance of producing sufficient vitamin D before burning”. Importantly, this advice applies in the UK, and not necessarily in hotter climates.

It is reported that in practice this means between “10 and 15 minutes in the UK summer sun, without sunscreen several times a week is probably a safe balance between adequate vitamin D levels and any risk of skin cancer”.

Information taken from NHS

So, next time spend a little more time outdoors for some vitamin D or try a supplement that works for you.

6 – Exercise

Like muscle, bone is living tissue that responds to exercise by becoming stronger. Weight-bearing exercises that force you to work against gravity is the best exercise for bone, such as walking, climbing stairs, weight training, and dancing. Regular exercise, such as walking, may help prevent bone loss and will provide many other health benefits.

7 – Avoid excess alcohol

Chronic alcohol use has been linked to an increase in fractures of the hip, spine, and wrist. Drinking too much alcohol interferes with the balance of calcium in the body. It also affects the production of hormones, which have a protective effect on bone, and of vitamins, which we need to absorb calcium. Excessive alcohol consumption also can lead to more falls and related fractures.
If you are concerned about osteoporosis in your future, you can consult your GP to talk about a bond density test. Alternatively talk to your Chiropractor about the status of your bone health.
To make an appointment in Bristol call 0117 9298384.

From the Team at Archibald Chiropractic Clinics
"Treating the cause, not the symptoms"
Dowry Chiropractic Clinic Established in 1987 – Experienced Bristol Chiropractors