Osteoporosis is a disorder that leads to the weakening of the bones due to the loss of calcium and other minerals. The disorder can result in a loss of height, skeletal deformities, and pain. However, there are ways to prevent the onset of this disorder. Read on for some suggestions on how to avoid the devastating effects of osteoporosis.
1. Manage your diet: Consume lots of calcium-rich foods and drinks, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt. Fish and green vegetables are rich in potassium and vitamin K, which can block calcium loss from the bones. Soy products provide calcium as well as estrogen, which helps sustain bone density. Finally, avoid eating too much protein and taking in too much caffeine. Both of these cause calcium excretion, which can lead to calcium depletion.
2. Set and follow an exercise regime: Studies show that weight-bearing exercise helps people maintain and even build bone as they age. Running, stair-climbing, weight-lifting, and more also improve posture, flexibility, and balance, which can offset falls that may lead to broken bones. Doctors recommend exercising 30 minutes a day 3 days a week but do not recommend swimming, since the body needs to combat gravity to build stronger bones.
See Part 2 to learn more ways to prevent and combat osteoporosis.
About the author: Dr. Regina Edmond is the president of her private Ob/Gyn healthcare practice in Los Angeles, California.