Osteoporosis: One Disease You Can Do Something About

Like the framework of a house, your skeleton supports your active life. But did you know osteoporosis could be a silent threat? Osteoporosis is a disease where your bones become brittle and fragile. Because it can begin early and doesn’t always alert you with symptoms — you may not even know you have it until something breaks.

So, how can you tell if you’re at risk?

Your risk for osteoporosis is affected by gender, age, body size, ethnicity, and family history. And while you can’t control those risks, you can take other preventative measure to help safeguard your health. Low estrogen levels, smoking, and drinking too much alcohol can all contribute to the development of the disease. Even some medications can contribute to your risk.

You can also find out if you are at risk by asking your doctor to get your calcium and vitamin levels checked. Or, if you are a postmenopausal woman over the age of 50, ask your doctor about receiving a bone density test. This exam can diagnosis osteoporosis before a broken bone occurs.

What can you do about it?

Shake yourself of the idea that osteoporosis is just part of growing older. There are many things you can do starting today to avoid it or slow its progression. Top of the list: Get enough calcium and vitamin D – and start moving.

1. Calcium

As a kid, you probably heard “drink your milk” daily. Turns out, that was good advice. Milk is a good source of calcium, the nutrient that helps build strong bones.

A healthy diet should supply your need for calcium. Calcium is important to your body’s ability to use vitamin D, and you’ll also find it in yogurt, cheese, orange juice, cereals, and breads.

2. Vitamin D

Eating the right foods and getting some sun time should contribute enough vitamin D, but you also may need to take it in pill form. Be sure to check with your doctor before taking any supplements.

3. Activity

Want to make a significant impact on osteoporosis at any stage of life? Get a move on!

That doesn’t mean you have to hit the gym.  Walking for as little as 30 minutes a day can be just what the doctor ordered. Don’t have 30 minutes free? Break it up into ten-minute segments as you find time.

Not a fan of walking? Any kind of weight-bearing exercise gets the job done. So yes, you’re allowed to dance your way to good bones. Dance, jog, play basketball, hike, whatever gets you competing with gravity is a good thing. Want to kick it up a notch? Pick up something heavy.

Adding resistance training brings potential benefits no matter your age. In a study in 2000, researchers found that high- and moderate-intensity resistance exercises have a positive effect on bone density.

The best way to make all this work is to bring a friend along.

There’s nothing quite like having someone sweating out the last few minutes of a workout alongside you. Working out as a team helps keep you committed when you feel like giving up.

The specialists at Women’s Care Florida can help you deal with osteoporosis. Call to learn more or schedule an appointment.

Grab your spoons — study finds yogurt can decrease risk for osteoporosis

If you’re a fan of yogurt, then we have good news. A recent study in Osteoporosis International found that eating yogurt can help strengthen your bones and decrease your risk for osteoporosis.

According to an article in the New York Times, over 4,000 Irish adults ages 60 and older participated in the study. Researchers measured their “bone density and joint deterioration” and tested their “physical ability.” They found that compared to non-yogurt eaters, the people who ate yogurt daily had a 3 to 4 percent increase in bone mineral density. The female participants’ risk for osteoporosis decreased by 39% and males’ risk decreased by 52%.

If you’ve been to the grocery store lately, then you know there are several different types of yogurt, ranging in flavor and texture. There seems to be something for everyone. However, if you haven’t cozied up to the idea of yogurt yet, here are some other benefits to eating this food that might help change your mind.

Perfect protein

According to WebMD, adults in the U.S. are encouraged to get 10 percent to 35 percent of their day’s calories from protein, which adds up to about 46 grams for women. Yogurt has about 9 grams per serving, so it’s a great way to incorporate protein into your diet. Especially if you’re an active person, protein can help build muscle and make you stronger.

Natural nutrients

Yogurt contains important nutrients such as calcium, vitamin B-2, vitamin B-12, potassium and magnesium. However, some yogurts contain unhealthy additives such as sugar. Instead of purchasing a pre-sweetened blend, try a plain non-fat yogurt and use natural sweeteners such as bananas, granola or honey to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Pleasant probiotics

You’ve probably seen brands advertise how their yogurt contains probiotics, but what does that mean? Research is still being conducted to better understand how certain strands of probiotics can benefit a consumer. However, some evidence shows that it can help boost your immune system and promote a healthy digestive track.

Better balance

Yes, yogurt can even help prevent vaginal yeast infections. The active cultures in yogurt can help decrease vaginal pH levels to a healthy level, which helps stop yeast infections and keeps them from coming back.

If you want to learn more about your risk for osteoporosis, sign up to speak with an expert at Women’s Care Florida.