Tips for Preventing Further Bone Density Loss

Preventing Bone Density Loss, Osteoporosis, bone heath,

The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) estimates that about 30% of postmenopausal women in the United States and Europe have osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disease in which your bones don’t produce enough new bone cells to replace old ones. Your bones become porous, brittle, and are at a greater risk for potentially debilitating or even fatal fractures, including hip fractures.

Although women are more likely to get osteoporosis, men get it, too. In fact, the IOF estimates that at least 40% of women with osteoporosis and up to 30% of men with the disease will suffer one or more bone fracture in their lifetimes.

Even if you don’t yet have osteoporosis, your doctor may have told you that you have a condition called osteopenia. Osteopenia means that your bones have started losing density, but aren’t yet considered osteoporotic.

Although osteoporosis and osteopenia can’t yet be reversed, you can slow down your bone loss so you stay healthy and minimize your risk for fractures. Our experts at the Rheumatology Center of New Jersey offer the following tips for keeping your bones as dense and strong as possible.

Stress your bones with weight-bearing exercise

Your muscles respond to the stresses of weightlifting and other exercises by building themselves up with new cells. Your bones, too, are living tissue and need to undergo stress in order to stimulate the production of new bone cells.

While exercising won’t replace the bone cells that have been lost to osteopenia and osteoporosis, weight-bearing does help you maintain your current bone density. The trick is to emphasize exercises that put stress on your bones and make them work against the effects of gravity, such as:

While other exercises, such as bike riding and swimming, may build your cardiovascular strength, they don’t stress or help your bones. If you’ve developed an exercise regimen that revolves around biking or swimming, add in daily weight-bearing exercises, too.

Eat greens and protein

Leafy green vegetables and other vegetables are rich with calcium, magnesium, vitamin K, and minerals your body needs to replace old bone cells with new ones. You also need protein, but not too much. Eating too much meat or other protein can cause your body to lose its stores of calcium.

Emphasize bone-healthy foods such as:

Avoid:

If you’re unsure of what dietary choices to make or whether calcium-rich dairy is right for you, call our team for advice.

Supplement your diet

Ideally, all of your nutrition would come from your food. Realistically, though, most of us need to supplement our diet. That’s particularly true if you have osteopenia or osteoporosis.

Calcium is best absorbed when you take it with vitamin D. Your doctor may recommend daily supplements such as:

At the Rheumatology Center of New Jersey, our doctors make recommendations for supplements based on your bone density as well as your blood levels of vitamin D.

Prevent bone loss with medications

If you already have osteoporosis, or are at high risk for it, your doctor may also recommend medications that prevent the re-absorption of old bone to maintain bone density. If you’re a woman and have a hormone imbalance, you might benefit from hormone replacement therapy.

To set up a bone-density scan or to learn more about how to maintain your bone strength with or without osteopenia or osteoporosis, call us today. You can also book a consultation online.

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