Osteoporosis is a condition where your bones become brittle and fragile. The word actually means porous bones. While healthy bone looks like a honeycomb, a bone with osteoporosis has much larger holes and spaces. Because the bones aren’t as dense, they become weak and are likely to break. One in two women and one in four men will break a bone because of osteoporosis. Usually there are no early symptoms of bone loss. Once your bones have weakened due to osteoporosis you may notice a loss of height or stooped posture.
What can you do to lower your risk of developing osteoporosis?
- Eat well. Good nutrition is the cornerstone of good health. It can keep your bones healthy throughout your life. Protein is particularly important. Vegetarians and vegans have to look for suitable sources of protein in their diets such as soy, nuts and legumes.
- Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking. More than two drinks a day containing alcohol can decrease the formation of bone. Alcohol can also increase your risk of falling. Smoking increases the rate of bone loss and your chances of fractures.
- Increase your intake of vitamin D. Vitamin D helps with the metabolism of calcium in bones. It also helps keep muscles strong which will help to improve your balance.
- Stay in shape. Exercise and any activity that puts weight on your bones will keep them from becoming weaker. It also increases your co-ordination, balance and flexibility.
- Prevent falls. Wear shoes with low nonslip soles. Check your living areas for anything that could cause you to trip and fall such as electrical cords and area rugs. Also remember if you have pets that they can be fall hazards.
Much of reducing your risk of developing osteoporosis revolves around prevention. To read more about how you can reduce your risks, click here.