KEEPING YOUR BONES STRONG AND HEALTHY
52 million Americans either already have osteoporosis, or are at risk. Osteoporosis is a disease where your bones become weak and porous. It can be painful and debilitating because fractures can occur from minor falls, or even simple movements, like sneezing or bumping into furniture. There are steps we can take to help prevent osteoporosis.
- Start taking care of your bones when you are young. We build bone mass when we are young. Then it slowly declines as we get older. The lifestyle choices we make when we are younger, help us to maximize our bone mass while it is at its peak (around age 30). This will give us more to work with as we get older. Continue healthy lifestyles of good diet and exercise throughout your life to slow the process of weakening bones.
- Get enough Calcium in your diet. 1000mg per day (1,200mg for women after menopause) is recommended. This equates to 3-4 servings of milk or yogurt per day. If you don’t get that much dairy, you probably need a calcium supplement.
- Get enough Vitamin D either from sunlight or diet. If you don’t have vitamin D you cannot use the calcium to build bone mass.
- Include strength or weight bearing exercises in your routine. These are exercises that build muscle mass, like weight training, running or even brisk walking, and are also good for your bones. Low impact exercises, like swimming or cycling are good for your heart, but do not help with strengthening your bones.
- Avoid bad habits that weaken your bones, including cigarette smoking and drinking more than 2 alcoholic drinks per day. Also, caffeine blocks our ability to absorb calcium. Coffee, tea and sodas with caffeine can actually cancel out the benefits of dairy intake.
- Get a Bone Density Screening – We perform these at Bremo Pharmacy by appointment. We take an ultrasound of your ankle, and measure how dense your bones are. We will also ask you about your health and family history to look at your risk factors. We use this simple screening to determine whether you should be evaluated by your doctor for osteoporosis. The screening is normally $30, but we are offering free screenings April through the end of June. Call to schedule your appointment today! 804.288.8361 ext 120.