Bone Density Testing for Osteoporosis - Reducing Risk

What can I do to reduce MY risk of osteoporosis?

Your diet, your activity level, and other lifestyle choices all affect bone density.

DIET: The body must have vitamin D to absorb calcium from the foods we eat and the dietary supplements we take. The body makes vitamin D when it absorbs the sun’s ultraviolet light, so spending at least some time outdoors in the sun every day and /or eating foods fortified with vitamin D maintains sufficient levels of the vitamin.

When purchasing a calcium supplement, look for a formulation containing vitamin D. Low-fat or non-fat dairy products make it possible to maintain proper calcium intake even when you are dieting.

Calcium requirements vary with age and condition.

  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women require at least 1,200 mg per day
  • Postmenopausal women on hormone replacement therapy require 1,000 mg per day.
  • Postmenopausal women NOT on hormone replacement therapy require
  • 1,200-1,500 mg per day

EXERCISE: An active lifestyle that includes weight-bearing exercise can help build and maintain bone density. When the body’s long bones move against the force of gravity their density is increased.

Many women find climbing stairs, taking a long, fast-paced walk, and dancing are easy ways to fit this type of exercise into their schedule. Exercising every day would be good, but three times a week appears to be sufficient.

As with any exercise program, it is wise to begin slowly and gradually increase the length and intensity of each exercise session.

If you have been told that you already have osteoporosis, you should consult your doctor before beginning any type of exercise program.

HORMONES: Women will lose bone density unless they replace estrogen or take another medication to preserve bone.

Each woman’s situation is different, and the decision to take replacement hormones should be made only after careful consideration of the risks and benefits. Your doctor can help you make an informed decision.

OTHER LIFESTYLE CHOICES: If you are a cigarette smoker, osteoporosis prevention is yet another good reason to quit. Women who abuse alcohol are more likely to suffer from vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and drinking more than three cups of coffee a day tends to reduce the amount of available calcium in the body.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Neary & Hunter OBGYN

Worcester, Massachusetts
Introduces Digital Mammography 2006
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