Let’s take a break from beauty and fashion for a bit and focus on Women’s health for a while. Anyone can get osteoporosis, but women are much more likely to get it than men. Women develop less bone mass than men. Then, for several years after menopause, women also lose bone at an increased pace because their bodies are producing less estrogen.
But this doesn’t have to happen. Anyone can take major steps to prevent osteoporosis without ever going to a doctor. And anyone who already has this bone-weakening disease can do a lot to halt its progress. unfortunately, the weakening of bones can be taking place very quietly for years, even decades. Most people reach their peak bone mass in the spine between the ages of 25 and 30 and reach their peak bone mass in long bones such as the hip – from age 35-40. After we pass this peak bone mass age, and especially after 45, all the bones in the body begin to lose density.
Exercise to build bone
If you don’t exercise, you lose bone. But there is even more reason to exercise. A number of studies support the theory that weight-bearing exercise can actually increase bone mass. Those who runs regularly were found to have 40 percent more bone mineral content than the non runners.
Even walking helps your bones, doctors say. Walking is an excellent, not to mention safe, way to get your bones the exercise they need. They suggest walking at least 20 minutes a day, three or four days a week.
Get enough calcium in your diet
Have up to 1,500 milligrams of calcium everyday. Calcium phosphate in milk is an excellent source. Low-fat cheese and yogurts are also high in calcium. And skim milk offers the same calcium as regular milk without the fat. Other high-calcium foods include red salmon, sardines, nuts, and tofu. Also, some citrus juices are not being sold as calcium fortified.
Fortify your meals
Add powdered nonfat dry milk to soups, casseroles and beverages. Every teaspoon is worth about 50 milligrams of calcium. And no fat!
If you use a little vinegar when preparing stock from bones, the vinegar will dissolve the calcium out of the bones. One pint of your soup, then, will be equal to about a quart of milk in calcium content.
Pinch-hit for butter
For both good taste and calcium content,Parmesan cheese is a fine substitute.
Take a Supplement
Calcium supplements can work small wonders – especially for people who have trouble absorbing natural sources of calcium. There are a host of calcium supplements on the market, but what works for others may not work for you. Calcium carbonate is well absorbed in the stomach by most people if taken in divided doses and with meals. It is also the least expensive and offers the highest amount of calcium per tablet. Ask your doctor if a supplement program would be of benefit to you.
Get enough Vitamin D
It is essential to calcium absorption. Vitamin D is important to calcium in two ways. First, it increases absorption of calcium in the intestines and second it increases reabsorption of calcium through the kidneys.
If you spend a lot of time in the sun, you may think you’re getting more than enough Vitamin D. Because we wear clothes, maybe 10 percent of our needed Vitamin D comes from the sun. A minimum of 400 international units per day is the amount of vitamin d we need. If you don’t get outdoors, you may need 800 international units a day. Get vitamin D from 8-ounce glass of milk (125 international units), Salmon, sardines and tuna are our best natural sources of Vitamin D. Doctors generally do not recommend Vitamin D supplements, as high levels can be toxic.
Restrict Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol reduces bone formation. Alcoholics are especially prone to losing bone density. Drink only in moderation – no more than one or two drinks per day for men and more than one drink per day for women.
Cigarette smoking lowers estrogen levels, and women with lower estrogen levels are at increased risk for developing osteoporosis.
Put a limit on Caffeine
According to caffeine research, there appeared to be a slight effect on calcium being lost in the urine. But two or three cups a day is no problem.
Don’t eat too much meat
This doesn’t mean you have to eliminate meat from your diet. Just don’t overdo it. Protein increases calcium excretion more than than it increases calcium absorption, thus leading to an overall loss of calcium from the body.
Watch your fiber intake
A high-fiber diet may bind calcium in the stomach, thus restricting the amount of calcium that is absorbed. Unless your diet is abnormally high in fiber – don’t go to the other extreme and drastically reduce fiber intake; just consider reducing it a little.
Put down the salt shaker
The more sodium in your diet, the more sodium you excrete – and the more sodium you excrete, the more calcium you excrete. What probably happens is that as calcium is being excreted in the urine, the blood levels of calcium drop, causing the release of parathyroid hormone, which breaks down bone to restore calcium levels.