Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Them Bones, Them Bones

I have partnered with The American Recall Center to bring you this post but am not being compensated; all opinions, as always, are 100% my own.

Did you know that May is National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention month??

As a healthcare provider, I am asked very frequently about ways to prevent osteoporosis and given that my own risk of developing osteoporosis at some point in my lifetime is about 50%, I figured I would share a few facts on osteoporosis and how you can try to prevent it.

*80% of Americans diagnosed with osteoporosis are women.  Women are at a higher risk for osteo because we have smaller, thinner bones then men and also because of the loss of estrogen when we go through "the change" (estrogen is a bone protector - go hormones!)

*1 in 2 women over the age of 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis
*Caucasian women are at a higher risk for developing osteoporosis
*A woman's risk of breaking her hip is equal to her combined risk of breast, uterine, and ovarian cancer.

The two major factors that affect your chances of getting osteoporosis are:
The amount of bone you have when you reach menopause
How fast you lost bone once you reach menopause.

So knowing that, NOW is the time for women to take action to help prevent osteoporosis later in life.  Here are a few things you can do:

*Get at LEAST 1000mg of calcium daily (1200mg if you are a women over the age of 50).  Food is  your best source - think dairy here.  There are also some green vegetables that have calcium.  If you are going to take a supplement, remember that calcium is best absorbed in increments of 500-600mg or less and to select one that contains vitamin D, as your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium.  
*Get regular, weight-bearing exercise and muscle-strengthening exercise.  Both are important for building and maintaining bone density.  This does not have to be high impact yo!
*Limit alcohol to 2-3 drinks per day
*Don't smoke!!
**As always, check with your healthcare provider before beginning taking any supplements or beginning an exercise regimen.

Obviously, I could go on and on about osteo but in the interest of keeping this brief...you can visit The American Recall Center's website and also the National Osteoporosis Foundation's website for more info!!

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