Thursday, August 14, 2008

Steps To help Prevent Osteoporosis

A study by the National Osteoporosis Foundation found that 85% of women assume they are not at risk of getting osteoporosis. Why is it that people always say after the fact why me ?, the study said only 4% of young women take the necessary precautions to starve off osteoporosis.





My mother who has osteoporosis found this out the hard way, she worked every day and had no sign of any physical problems. One day she was brushing her hair and she heard a crack in her back and was in pain, so she went to the doctor and he dismissed it as just a back ache.

The very next day another cracking sound and she collapsed and had to be rushed to the hospital where they informed her that a vertebrate had fractured. Since she had no health insurance they just sent her home, a long story short in one months time she had 5 more vertebrate fracture and is almost 1 foot shorter because of it.

Osteoporosis is a disease that makes bones porous and brittle and leads to debilitating fractures. A bone density check is paramount, this is usually not considered untill you are around age 65.

It took her almost a year of intense pain and wearing a back brace to walk again, and now she is so brittle the slightest wrong turn or fall could cripple her.

Now women usually don't develop the conditions until their 50's and up, but the actions you take in your early years play a huge role in determining your future bone health later in life.

Your bones are constantly being made and broken down throughout your life, and by the time you reach 30 you have hit your peak. Then its all down hill due to hormones changing. Levels of bone protecting estrogen begin to fall and you start to loose bone mass more quickly then you can replace it.

With a good diet and exercise a woman in their 20's and 30'3 can add to her reserves or simply preserve what she has. This is something you have to take a proactive stance on with a proper diet and exercise, plus evaluating your risk.

Risk Factors For Osteoporosis

Check your family history, see if anyone else has it ?
Have you broken any bones ?
Have you missed your period three months in a row, and your not pregnant ?
You smoke or drink ? This can interfere with calcium absorption.
You have a small frame, a body weight under 127 lbs ?
Have you taken a prescription medication that can cause bone loss ?

You need to include strenght training in your exercise program at least 3 times a week, lifting weights, aerobics, or running to stimulate bone formation. Jumping rope is also a good weight bearing exercise.

Assuming you are eating a proper diet with fresh fruits, lean protein, whole grains,and good fats. Here is what you need to make sure is also included in your diet.

Calcium

It is one of the most important minerals involved in the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis. Adequate amounts of calcium in your diet can help reduce bone loss by 30 - 50 percent!

Calcium must be properly absorbed by the body, look for chelated forms of calcium (calcium citrate, calcium lactate, or calcium gluconate) because it is the easiest form for most people to absorb.

The recommended amount of calcium is 1000 mg to 1500 mg per day. However, since your body can't absorb more than about 500 mg of calcium at a time, you should divide your doses and take them at different times of the day. Also for maximum absorption take your calcium supplements with food.

You can also increase your intake of calcium by eating calcium-rich foods. Food sources that are high in calcium include:

Dairy products
Kelp
Turnips
Collard greens


Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral that plays an important role in maintaining healthy bones. It contributes to increased bone density and helps prevent the onset of osteoporosis.

Since magnesium works closely with calcium, it is important to have an appropriate ratio of both minerals in order for them to be effective. A good rule of thumb is a 2:1 calcium-to-magnesium ratio. For example, if you take 1000mg of calcium, you should also take 500mg of magnesium.

The recommended amount of magnesium is 300mg to 500mg daily. As with calcium, chelated forms of magnesium are absorbed best by the body. Magnesium oxide is also available and is often less expensive, but it is poorly absorbed by the body. Since high doses of magnesium can cause diarrhea, you should divide your doses and take them with meals throughout the day.

You can also increase your intake of magnesium by eating magnesium-rich foods. Food sources that are high in magnesium include:

Brown rice
Corn
Dark green vegetables
Legumes
Nuts - almonds, cashew
Seeds - sunflower, sesame, pumpkin
Whole grain cereals

Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps enhance calcium absorption in the body and helps with bone formation. When taken along with calcium, Vitamin D plays a critical role in maintaining bone density.

The best source of Vitamin D is the sun, about 15 minutes of unprotected exposure. But this might not be possible for most so a vitamin D supplement of 200 IU to 400 IU per day.

You can also increase your intake of Vitamin D by eating Vitamin D-rich foods.

Butter and margarine
Cheese
Egg yolk
Fish liver oils
Fortified cereals and bread
Fortified milk
Oysters
Salmon

Vitamin K

Vitamin K helps promote strong bones by binding calcium and other minerals to the bone. The recommended dosage of Vitamin K is 150mcg a day.

You can also increase your intake of Vitamin K by eating Vitamin K-rich foods. Food sources that are high in Vitamin K include:

Broccoli
Brussels sprouts
Cauliflower
Chick peas
Dairy products
Eggs
Kale
Seeds
Vegetable oils (olive, canola)

There are also calcium supplements that have everything included in one pill to make life a little easier.

Want to know more about staying healthy ? see - Antioxidants And Free Radicals

1 comment:

divamentors said...

A great article Kiefer! Thanks for the reminders. Osteoporosis is one of those things that is overshadowed by what people consider 'more serious' conditions! Don't forget those weights!! :-)

Many Blessings,
Shelley
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