For women diagnosed with osteoporosis, or those wishing to avoid it, advertisements are confusing. Drug companies promise healthier bones, and reduced risk of fractures if their product is taken regularly.
Not everyone has a medical history or condition that allows these drugs to be taken. Certain conditions or medications may interfere with these medications, creating more problems than they solve. New studies have emerged linking these drugs to rare bone fractures. The drug that is supposed to strengthen bones actually causes them to break. No wonder people are confused. Instead of staying confused, there are things every woman can do to help maintain bone health and prevent or lessen osteoporosis.
Increase Calcium Intake
Because calcium supplements have been linked to heart attacks in recent studies, the best source of calcium should be from a woman’s diet. Dark leafy greens, milk and other servings of dairy, and calcium-rich vegetables should make up a large part of the daily diet. The body absorbs the calcium over a longer period of time instead of all at once.
Weight Bearing Exercise
Running, lifting weights, yoga and other weight bearing exercises help to increase bone health. Bone density increases with activity, particularly those activities that require the body to work.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
It’s a well-known and established fact that obesity kills. Even carrying around ten or more extra pounds is no good for bone health. Losing weight not only helps to strengthen bones, increase energy levels for more exercise, it helps elevate self-esteem. A woman who feels good gets out more and engages in more activity.
Stop the Soda
Soda isn’t just linked to diabetes and tooth decay- the carbonated acids eat away at the calcium in your teeth and bones. Stick with water, fortified juice, milk or green tea. Limit sodas to one a week or less.
Stop Smoking and Alcohol Consumption
If a woman smokes and drinks, her chances of developing osteoporosis increase dramatically.By giving up smoking, every part of a woman’s body will benefit as well as her bones. By giving up alcohol, she’ll increase her life expectancy as well. These two substances interfere with the bones ability to absorb calcium.
Certain medications are known to interfere with the body’s ability to use calcium. When speaking to a doctor or pharmacist, be honest about all medications and supplements taken. That is the only way the right decisions can be made regarding treatment options.
Sometimes health fairs offer bone density screenings free to the public. The doctor’s office may have one of these machines. If it’s not part of a routine physical, ask the doctor to make it part of yours. If your doctor doesn’t have a machine or needs to send you to a specialist, ask your insurance company to cover it. If they don’t, start a campaign to get it covered. Everyone can have healthy bones. It does take a little effort, but the results are worth it.
This article is untended for diagnosis of any medical condition nor advocate or prescribe any specific medication or treatment. Always seek the advice of a licensed physician for proper diagnosis or treatment of any disease or condition.
Source: Madeline Vann, MPH, “Osteoporosis Prevention Choices You Can Start Making Today,” Everyday Health.com Website, 11 March, 2009