Is Osteoporosis Preventable?
Osteoporosis is a medical condition that weakens bones, making them fragile and more likely to break, with 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men predicted to suffer from an Osteoporotic fracture in their lifetime.
The condition is most prevalent the 50+ age group, with 3.5 million people over the age of 50 suffering from Osteoporosis in the UK. This condition takes what should just be minor bumps or falls and converts them into life threatening incidents, with over 80% of breaks in those over 50 caused by osteoporosis. The seriousness of this condition is realised with the fact that 30% of elderly people die within a year after a hip fracture.
Although bone thinning is a natural process that begins in your mid-20s, this does not mean that your bone health is a lost cause. There is a plethora of different routes you can take to regain or maintain healthy bones and reduce the chances of the adverse events from having Osteoporosis.
Let’s jump into those different methods to ensure you can live your most active life!
Calcium is extremely important to maintain strong bones and below is the average amount of calcium a person should have per day; these levels can be easily achieved though calcium supplements such as Adcal:
- Women 50 and younger: 1,000 mg per day
- Men 70 and younger: 1,000 mg per day
- Women over 50: 1,200 mg per day
- Men over 70: 1,200 mg per day
Foods that are rich with calcium include
- Green vegetables like broccoli
- Canned fish with soft, edible bones (the calcium is in the bones) such as sardines, pilchards and salmon
- Dried Fruit
Vitamin D can also improve bone strength as it helps your body to absorb the calcium. An adult should absorb 10 micrograms of Vitamin D per day. Good Vitamin D sources are
- Red Meat
- Oily fish
- Egg Yolks
Exercise is extremely important to improve bone density, and this can be done through weight bearing exercises. Also jumping, running or swimming are all useful ways to strengthen your muscles, ligaments and joints.
The Royal Osteoporosis Society released some basic guidelines to follow when it comes to being active with osteoporosis
For Muscle Strengthening Exercises
- Exercise two to three days each week, on non-consecutive days.
- Aim for 20 to 30 minutes, working on exercises that target legs, arms and your spine
- Work gradually with resistance bands and weights – the most you can lift eight to 12 times.
- Build up to three sets of each exercise
For Weight-Bearing Exercise
- Weight bearing exercise with impact involves being on your feet and adding an additional force or jolt through your skeleton. This could be anything from walking to star jumps.
- You can get weight bearing exercise with impact by taking part in some physical activity, sports or by doing specific exercises. The level of impact varies depending on what activity
It’s hard to get the amount you need from food alone. Experts recommend 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D per day for adults up to age 70, and 800 IU for people 71 and older. Vitamin D from the sun is also crucial as it is naturally found in sunlight and it encourages calcium absorption in the body. If you’re not getting enough from sunlight and food, you may need to take a supplement.
Studies have shown a direct relationship between tobacco use and decreased bone density. Smoking increases the risk of having a fracture. As well, smoking has been shown to have a negative impact on bone healing after fracture.
If you need help with the process of quitting, then please find helpful links below
If you ever need a daily reminder to take your calcium supplements or any of your other Medications you can Download Medsmart – Meds and Pill reminder app, to take control of your medication today.