Osteoporosis – Ways to maintain bone strength

Just because we age doesn’t mean we will suffer from Osteoporosis even if your bone density test shows risk.  There are ways to maintain bone strength and reduce the risk of Osteoporosis.

It is never too early to start and the Mayo Clinic suggests that our bones peak density is in our 30’s.  So what do we do if we are at Midlife or older?

Ways to Maintain Bone Strength in Midlife & Beyond

Osteoporosis - Ways to Maintain Bone Strength

Hormone levels

Have your hormone levels checked. Too much thyroid hormone can cause bone loss.  Lower oestrogen in menopausal women and lower testostorone levels in men are other factors.

Exercise

Regular exercise including weight training and balance exercises will help to build muscle mass and bone strength.  High impact exercises such as running or tennis stimulate bone building cells called ‘osteoblasts’.  Can’t manage high impact?  No problem, even gentler exercises such as a brisk walk daily can help.

Sunlight

Vitamin D helps build and repairs bones and maintains muscle strength – this may reduce the risk of falls.  As sunshine is our only way of absorbing Vitamin D just 10 minutes daily is enough to keep your Vitamin D levels on track.

Diet

Calcium is an important inclusion in your diet to avoid loss of bone strength. Foods rich in calcium include dairy such as milk, yoghurt and cheese.  The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends Women 50 and younger and Men 70 and younger should aim for 1,000mg of calcium per day.

Do you take Calcium Supplements?

A recent article published in Science Daily, suggested that research at  Johns Hopkins Medicine indicated that Calcium supplements could damage the heart.  You can read the story here: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161011182621.htm?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook

Avoid smoking & Limit Alcohol Intake

These two activities seem to be the cause of many illnesses.

Ensure your house is ‘fall proof’

As we age our balance becomes affected so put a ‘fall proof’ plan in place so your house doesn’t become a danger zone.  This could include:

  • removing rugs that might cause you to trip
  • modifying your shower or bath with rails you can hold onto
  • install nightlights in hallways
  • install a non slip bath/shower mat
  • ensure your wear non slip socks or shoes

Know your family history

Talk to your parents and other family members.  If your family has a history of Osteoporosis you should discuss this with your doctor and arrange regular bone density testing.

In my next article I discuss

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4 thoughts on “Osteoporosis – Ways to maintain bone strength

  1. Toni Pike

    Great advice Sue. I’m glad you included advice about avoiding falls – that is so important. Doing some exercise such as walking and standing on one leg for a few seconds help to improve our balance – and that also helps to avoid falls.

    Reply
    1. Sue Loncaric Post author

      I don’t think we pay enough attention to ‘falls’ Toni. We probably just think it happens when we are much older but we need to put the exercises in place now to help us in the future.

      Reply
  2. Rosemond

    Thank you so much for sharing this information. Osteoporosis is such a huge disease for women. We need to learn to protect our health and be proactive about this.

    Reply
    1. Sue Loncaric Post author

      I know Rosemond, I have learned so much about Osteoporosis writing the series. I didn’t realise there were no actual symptoms and that you needed a bone density test.

      Reply

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