Living with osteoporosis can be very limiting. It is important to ensure a strong, healthy framework well in advance, as it is difficult to alter the fate of our bones as our age advances. Irrespective of your age, what measures you adopt can decide the health of your bones for the rest of your life. Find out what preventive measures and lifestyle changes can help make the journey easier.
What can you do to strengthen your bones?
- Exercise: It should come as no surprise that exercise goes a long way in preventing osteoporosis. Special emphasis on strength-training and weight-bearing exercises stimulates your body cells to make new bone, while also making your muscles stronger. Strength-training also increases your flexibility and balance, preventing frequent falls.
- Nutrition: Calcium and Vitamin D are crucial raw material for the synthesis of new bones. Vitamin D helps increase absorption of calcium, and its shortage will directly affect calcium levels. Deficiency of calcium can also lead to breaking down of your bones to compensate for low levels, which can then contribute to other vital functions. Examples of calcium-rich food include milk and all dairy products, fish, leafy green vegetables, citrus fruits, soy and lentils.
- Avoid alcohol and tobacco. Both these separately contribute to bone loss and can also alter sex hormone levels, thereby making bones more susceptible to osteoporosis.
- Check your soda consumption: Carbonated drinks also contribute towards bone resorption and isn’t good news in the long run.
- Sun exposure: Sunlight is an excellent source of vitamin D, and is essential in ensuring healthy blood levels, contributing to overall bone health.
Living with osteoporosis
- If your bones have already undergone osteoporotic changes, it is essential to prevent falls and fractures. Safeguard your house from common hazards. Be cautious about wet floors, slippery carpets and stairs.
- Keep your house well-illuminated.
- Keep things well within reach
- Do not wear slippery footwear, high heels or walk around in socks or bare feet
- Opt for shoes with rubber soles as they will improve your grip
Treatments available for osteoporosis
Medical treatment for osteoporosis is often reserved for specific categories such as men over 50, or postmenopausal women. Available options include various drugs that stop dissolution of bone, help increase bone formation and normalize hormone levels. Postmenopausal women may benefit from hormone replacement therapy in some cases. Vitamin D and calcium supplements should be continued to maintain a normal range.