After being diagnosed with Osteoporosis your first thought may be ‘what now’? If you already have been diagnosed with Osteoporosis, you can do a few things to help maintain or improve your bone health to help prevent the full side effects of this disease. These tips can help prevent the disease from occurring in the future and help keep your bones healthy.
1. Increase the amount of calcium in your diet.
We’ve heard it since we were young: milk grows strong bones. Milk is high in calcium, so it is a great option to add to your diet if you are concerned about your bone strength or even if you just want to prevent bone problems in the future. But milk is not the only food option for higher calcium consumption, so if you’re lactose intolerant, don’t worry! You can also try beans, salmon, veggies and nuts. If you’re just a picky eater, there are also calcium tablet you can take too to make sure you get your share.
2. Increase your physical activity.
Of course, we’ve been told to exercise since we were young too because it’s good for everyone’s overall health, but we might not have realized that bones are a big part of our overall health and they are actually impacted by exercise too! According to Mayo Clinic, people who don’t exercise and are physically inactive have a higher risk of Osteoporosis than those who do exercise. If you feel too old, you’re wrong! There are always ways to exert some energy, even if it’s a simple walk around the neighborhood or taking basic water aerobics classes. Your bones will thank you later.
3. Limit your tobacco and alcohol use.
Research has supported that tobacco contributes to the weakening of bones and alcohol actually interferes with your body’s ability to absorb calcium. So even if you are consuming more milk or calcium-rich foods to try and balance out your drinks, it isn’t doing anything other than cancelling out your efforts. If you need a number to stick to, just know that more than two drinks a day leads to a much higher risk of Osteoporosis.
4. Gain some weight.
Yeah, you read that right: gain some weight! If you’re extremely thin, typically with a BMI of 19 or less, or you have a naturally small frame, you might be at a higher risk of Osteoporosis or higher risk of experiencing its side effects because you have less bone mass to draw from when you age. Bones naturally get thinner and weaker as we age, but if you start at a very small size, it could be dangerous for you down the road.
5. Control your hormones.
Don’t think that hormones only affect you when you’re young because thyroid hormones, estrogen, and testosterone levels all affect your bone density, especially when you get older. Too much thyroid hormone causes bone loss whereas lower levels of estrogen and testosterone cause bone loss. If you can regulate healthy hormone levels, go for it! Talk to your doctor about your options.
6. Watch your medications.
Multiple medications that may be treating other medical issues can cause bone loss as a side effect. Some of these medications are long-term corticosteroids, aromatase inhibitors, serotonin reuptake inhibitors, and anti-seizure medications. Of course, some of these are necessary, so talk to your doctor about what you can do to control your bone health and other medical needs.
Incorporating these tips into your daily routine, you can help maintain healthy bones and prevent Osteoporosis. If you have already been diagnosed with Osteoporosis, don’t loose hope! You can halt the side effects by following these lifestyle tips.