How to Prevent Osteoporosis in Women
Osteoporosis is the thinning of bone tissue and loss of bone density over time. Osteoporosis occurs when the bone mass decreases because the rate of bone resorption is greater than that of bone formation. As a result, bone becomes weak and easily fractured especially in the hip and vertebrae.
Signs and symptoms of osteoporosis: Some of the symptoms include:
- Bone pain and tenderness
- Neck pain
- Tooth loss
- Broken bones
- Brittle fingernails
Who is at risk?
Osteoporosis is more likely for women after menopause, because the body has less estrogen, thinner women, white or Asian women, women who smoke or drink alcohol.
Which bones can break during osteoporosis:
Osteoporosis can cause any bone to break. The most likely bones to break are the spine, hip, or wrist. Bones can break from a fall or just a hardbump.
How is osteoporosis diagnosed: Osteoporosis is diagnosed using a bone density test to detect bone loss. Your doctor may also order an ultrasound or a computerized tomography (CT) scan to help check the density of your bones.
How to prevent osteoporosis in women:
1. Calcium: A lack of calcium is attributed to the development of osteoporosis. Calcium helps you to maintain a body weight, protects your heart, keep teeth healthy and decrease the severity of pre menstrual syndrome. Eat foods rich in calcium. Vegetables such as spinach, broccoli and watercress are good sources of aclcium. Other foods include nuts such as almonds and brazil nuts, unrefined grains, bread, baked beans, seeds such as sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds, dried fruits,fish, calcium-fortified soya milk and orange juice. Adults under the age of 50 require 1000 mg of calcium each day. Adults over the age of 50 require 1200mg of calcium each day. Most people get the daily recommended allowance of calcium through their diet. If you are not not getting enough calcium from your diet, take a calcium supplement. Always consult your health care provider first.
2. Vitamin D: Vitamin D can help build bones and it aids in the absorption of calcium. Dietary sources of vitamin D include milk, liver and egg yolks. You can get vitamin D from sunlight, supplements and foods. Adults under the age of 50 require 400 to 800 IU of vitamin D each day. Adults 50 and over require 800 IU of vitamin D each day. There are 2 types of vitamin D supplements including vitamin D3 and vitamin D2. Recent studies show that both vitamin D3 and vitamin D2 is good forbone health. Vitamin D3 is also called cholecalciferol and Vitamin D2 is also called ergocalciferol. Vitamin D plays a vital role in preventing osteoporosis related fractures.
3. Exercise: Exercise is imporatnt for building bone strength. It also helps to slower your bone loss. You can do some weight bearing excercises incuding walking, jogging, skiing and stair climbing.
4. Smoking and alcohol: Reduce smoking and intake of alcohol to prevent bone loss. Smoking may increase bone loss for females.
5. Medicines: Avoid antacids, and hydrochloric acid blockers such as Tagamet, Zantac and Pepcid.