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What Can I Do to Prevent Osteoporosis?

What Can I Do to Prevent Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis — a clinically significant loss of bone mass, density, and strength — affects 8 million women and 2 million men over age 50 in the United States. Another 43 million have osteopenia, which is a precursor condition.

You don’t usually know that you have osteopenia or osteoporosis unless you fracture a bone or you undergo a bone-density scan, sometimes called a DEXA scan. Your doctor should recommend a DEXA scan if you’re a postmenopausal woman or meet other criteria, such as a recent fracture.

Whether you know the state of your bone health or not, and whether you’re over 50 or not, it’s never too late — or too early — to take your bone health seriously. 

The stronger and denser your bones are in youth, the less likely you are to develop osteopenia or osteoporosis or to undergo a potentially life-threatening fragility fracture, such as a broken hip.

At the Rheumatology Center of New Jersey, our board-certified rheumatologists, Ahmed M. Abdel-Megid, MD; Amanda Borham, MD; and Karina Borromeo, MD, offer DEXA scans so you can keep tabs on your bone health. 

They also offer osteoporosis treatments at our Monroe, Flemington, and Somerville, New Jersey, locations so you can stay fracture-free for as long as possible.

Can you take charge of your bone health and prevent osteoporosis? The sooner you start, the easier it is, but it’s never too late to help your bones.

Make your bones work hard

If you were an entrepreneur in charge of an innovative company and some of your workers weren’t productive, you’d eliminate their positions. Something similar happens in your body. 

Your body allocates resources to where they’re needed. If your bones aren’t working hard, your body doesn’t bother replacing new bone cells.

The use-it-or-lose-it adage applies to all of your organs, including your bones. If you want your bones to stay healthy and strong, you have to prove to your body that they’re a needed resource. 

When you force your bones to work hard, your body keeps them strong by clearing out old bone cells and replacing them with new ones.

Resistance training is the best way to trigger bone growth. If your joints can take the pressure, add in high-impact aerobics, too. Rotate exercises such as:

The stronger and denser your muscles are, the more pressure they put on your bones. So resistance training not only creates stronger bones, it creates stronger muscles which, in turn, create more bone strength. 

Feed your bones

As with every tissue in your body, your bones need the right nutrients to maintain their density, health, and flexibility. Eat foods that rich in bone-feeding nutrients, such as:

Avoid empty calories, such as those found in ultra processed foods: packaged foods, fast food restaurants, and junk food. As much as possible, stay away from pro-inflammatory foods, such as factory farm-raised meats and poultry.

Buy fresh organic produce. Shift from factory meats to grass-fed and finished beef, pasture-raised pork, and free-range, pastured poultry and eggs. Look for wild-caught fish and seafood, rather than farmed fish.

Too much caffeine may leach minerals from your bones. So could carbonated beverages (these usually have sugars, too, so avoid them whenever possible). 

Address bone loss early

The best way to know what’s going on inside your bones is to schedule a DEXA scan at the office nearest you. If results demonstrate that you have osteopenia or osteoporosis, you and your rheumatologist may up your prevention strategies, plus discuss medications. 

Do you want strong bones and muscles so you can stay fall-free and fracture-free for life? Book a DEXA scan or an osteoporosis consultation today: Simply contact our team at our office nearest you, in Monroe, Flemington, or Somerville, New Jersey.

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