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Prevention of Osteoporosis Is The Best Treatment For Osteoporosis
That’s right prevention of osteoporosis is the best way to treat it. I know what you’re thinking; that sounds ridiculous, stupid, or just too simple. Well the fact is that the treatment for osteoporosis and prevention of osteoporosis is almost the same thing. They both include diet and exercise. However, the amounts change depending on whether a person already has osteoporosis or if they are just trying to prevent it.
What is osteoporosis?
Let’s talk a little bit about what osteoporosis is. The disease is actually a natural process that occurs with the human body. The process that I speak of is the body absorbing more bone than it can form which naturally occurs with age. The inner part of the bone is lost at first and later the outer shell begins to diminish. Anyone want to guess what age this process starts taking place? I can hear some of you now saying 50, 60, or 70 years old and you are all wrong. The age is 30. That’s right you read it correctly, at age 30 the body starts slowing its production of bone formation and the bones start wasting away unless you take action. This is especially important for those of you who are at a higher risk than others.
Who is at risk?
The gender that is most at risk is females. This risk is also increased if you are white or if your heritage is of northern European decent. Low body weight also plays a role in a person’s likely hood to develop osteoporosis. While all of those are not things that we can control, the good news is there are many modifiable behaviors that put us at risk that we can change. These factors include not having enough calcium, protein, and vitamin D in your diet. Smoking, drinking alcohol and caffeine intake also put you at risk for developing osteoporosis. Then there is a big one that most of us don’t seem to think about and that is physical inactivity.
Diet, but not in a sense of losing weight
Prevention of osteoporosis first needs to start with your diet. The biggest aspect of this is your calcium intake. A person needs to make sure that they get their recommended daily value of calcium. However, calcium by itself is useless. The body is not able to absorb calcium by itself and needs vitamin D to facilitate the absorption. This is why milk is vitamin D fortified. Interestingly enough, getting vitamin D is very simple. When the body absorbs sunlight, a chemical process takes place that forms vitamin D. Reducing alcohol and caffeine consumption will help reduce the amount of bone that is lost over time. Soft drinks are particularly a problem. Not only do they contain caffeine, but also contain carbonic acid that accelerates bone loss.
Build muscle and bone at the same time
Exercise is the next area that you need to concentrate in the prevention of osteoporosis. The way this works is bone increases in density when it continually has pressure put on it. This occurs from exercising when the tendons that connect muscles to bones pull on the bones. I don’t intend for everyone to jump up and go buy a bowflex or a 300 lbs. set of weights. This type of exercise can be performed with little or no weight at all. Walking is a great way to not only make your bones healthy but also improve your overall health. This can be accomplished by putting in an effort of 30 minutes a day, three times a week. However I would suggest that you don’t stop there is you are capable of walking more. Aerobic exercises can be performed with or without weights and are another great way to get in range of motion exercises that help so much. I would actually suggest trying to work in a combination of both walking and aerobic exercises.
It's up to you!
Now that you know some of the most important things you can do for osteoporosis prevention, it is up to you to take action. Don’t go by the fact that you had an x-ray performed and your doctor didn’t say anything to you. The fact is that a person can lose up to 50% of their bone mass before it is detectable by an x-ray. I want to encourage everyone to speak with their doctor and come up with a plan to prevent this disease that cripples many people. Contacting your physician is important because increasing calcium and exercise can cause illness and health issues for people with underlying health problems. Osteoporosis is one of the few diseases that is very preventable, but it is up to you to decide it is time to start doing something about it.