The Bottom Line About Bone Health: How To Avoid Osteoporosis

September 21, 2019

Bone Health and Osteoporosis Demonstration

Your skeleton depicts your body posture and helps you attain different body positions. Sitting, walking, and running require a perfect harmony between bones and muscles. For your bone growth, healing after fractures, and treating a loss of bone mass after menopause, you have to know more about your bone health and osteoporosis.

The Importance of Calcium and Vitamin D to Bone Health

For starters, bones are mainly made of calcium and phosphate. Calcium builds strong bones, while vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium from your gut.

Calcium-rich foods are chiefly dairy products, and, to a lesser degree, so are cooked spinach, canned salmon, turnip greens, and collard greens. Calcium-fortified juices and calcium supplements are perfect substitutes for a low calcium diet.

Deficiency of calcium and/or vitamin D leads to osteoporosis, a medical term for bone thinning and fragility. Weak bones become subject to fractures and deformities.

What to Know About Bone Health and Osteoporosis - YOUTOHEALTHY

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How to Avoid Osteoporosis

Several factors contribute to osteoporosis. Inadequate calcium intake and lack of sun exposure top the list.

As you get older, your skin won’t be as efficient as it was at making vitamin D. This is why elderly people are more prone to develop osteoporosis than young people.

Also, if you’re careful to use sunscreen, you might be at risk of having low vitamin D. People living in the polar caps are often susceptible to osteoporosis because they don’t get enough sun exposure.

All women age 65 and over and men age 70 and over should get their bones checked before a broken bone occurs. They’re recommended to go for mineral density testing (DEXA scan). This detects bone rarefaction early on in the process of osteoporosis and allows for treatment before it is too late.

In that case, there are plenty of over-the-counter pharmaceutical products that increase bone strength and improve bone health.

Besides that, there are other ways to improve your bone health and avoid osteoporosis.

1. Weight-Bearing Exercise

Bones are created to support your body and to be walked on. In other words, applying weight on your bones stimulates them to get stronger. It’s a kind of stress that brings out the best of you.

Weight-bearing exercises include walking, jogging, biking, and others. This kind of exercise makes you put weight on your legs, which ultimately builds your bones. Note that swimming is not on this list, as water will hold up your body and exerts less force back to your legs.

Scientists in the field of space medicine assert that astronauts grow weak bones as they don’t step on their feet for long periods of time. When they return to Earth, they relearn walking under the effect of gravity.

2. Give Up Smoking

Nicotine is toxic to your soft and hard tissues, and bones are no exception. It hampers fetal bone growth. Smoking during pregnancy poses a significant risk on fetal bone development with subsequent deformity.

Nicotine obstructs bone healing, as well. Research shows that smokers who break a leg require 62% more time to heal. Nicotine creates an unhealthy atmosphere in your body that counteracts many medications you take to recover from an incidence of bone infection or fracture.

3. Cut Back on Added Salt and Soda Beverages

Additionally, salt can have harmful effects on bone health. Sodium in table salt causes bone marrow rarefaction as it encourages calcium to leave the bones and get excreted through urine.  That is to say, excessive salt intake contributes to calcium waste and induces osteoporosis.

Public health researchers believe that drinking soda is associated with lower levels of blood calcium due to rising urinary calcium excretion. The proposed mechanism accuses phosphoric acid in cola as it leaches calcium out of the bone. This results in weak, fragile bones. Over the long run, drinking soda sometimes results in poor bone health and osteoporosis.

How to Go About Bone Rehabilitation

Indulging in a healthy lifestyle such as proper exercise and dieting will help you maintain your bone health. Still, these changes may not be enough if you have already lost a great deal of bone density. 

If your doctor has diagnosed your condition as osteoporosis, then you have to do a lot more to rebuild your bones. To achieve that, you are required to avoid certain medicines that are harmful to your bones and to take bone boosters, as well.

Good formulas for boosting your bone health contain calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, phosphorus, boron, colostrum, maltodextrin, and silicon dioxide. Proper dosage, frequency, and mode of administration are up to your doctor’s discretion.

In Conclusion…

To sum up, bone health and osteoporosis are important topics to understand, particularly if certain risk factors like age and lack of sunlight apply to you. 

It is crucial to take good care of your skeleton with a calcium-rich diet and by avoiding bad habits like smoking or drinking too much soda. For more information, please consult your doctor about the best ways to care for your bones.

More about Atif Abdulhamid Katib

Dr. Atif Abdulhamid Katib is a senior physician. He holds a Ph.D. in general surgery from Dublin, Ireland, a Ph.D. in Urological surgery from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and a Diploma in clinical research from Hamilton, Canada. He's the editor for the Urology Bank of 1111 MCQs and founder and editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Clinical Updates. Dr. Katib has been working in the business of medical research writing, reviewing, and editing for seven years and used to be an Arabic columnist to local newspapers and health journals.

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