Five basic steps to avoid Osteoporosis

  1. A balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D. Good sources of calcium include low fat dairy products, dark green leafy vegetables, almonds, and calcium fortified foods such as orange juice, cereals, and breads. If you do not get enough calcium each day from food, a calcium supplement may be needed. Vitamin D plays an important role in calcium absorption and in bone health. Many people get enough Vitamin D naturally through diet and sunlight, however some individuals may require a small dose supplement to ensure a daily intake of Vitamin D.
  2. Weight-bearing exercise. Like muscle, bone is living tissue that responds to exercise by becoming stronger. Examples of weight-bearing exercise include walking, hiking, jogging, stair-climbing, weight training, tennis, and dancing.
  3. A healthy lifestyle with no smoking or excessive alcohol intake. Smoking is bad for your bones as well as for your heart and lungs. Women who smoke have lower levels of estrogen and often go through menopause earlier. Smokers also may absorb less calcium from their diets. Regular consumption of 2 to 3 ounces a day of alcohol may be damaging to the skeleton, even in young men and women. Those who drink heavily are more prone to bone loss and fractures, both because of poor nutrition as well as increased risk of falling.
  4. Talking to your healthcare professional about bone health, bone density testing, and medications. Be aware of current medications you are taking such as glucocorticoids, antiseizure drugs, and GnRH analogs can cause bone loss. Talk with your physician to see if you are a candidate for bone density testing and/or preventive medication.
  5. Protect yourself from falls. Remove things you can trip over from stairs and places where you walk. Remove small rugs and avoid using step stools. In bathrooms, use non-slip mats and have grab bars put in the bathtub/shower and next to the toilet. Wear shoes that give good support and have non-slip soles. Also, have your vision checked regularly. You could need glasses or currently be wearing the wrong prescription. The optometrist will also check your eyes for glaucoma or cataracts that can limit your vision.

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