While there are certain consequences that come with osteoporosis, there are simple steps you can take to minimize your risk. To reduce the threat of fracture or broken bones due to osteoporosis, the following precautions are recommended:
- Eat plenty of foods that are rich in bone-building calcium, including low-fat dairy products, leafy greens like kale and spinach, oranges, beans, and almonds. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, so you will also want to eat plenty of vitamin D-rich foods, including eggs and fatty fish like tuna and salmon. Because your skin absorbs vitamin D from the sun, spending time outside on a sunny day is another way to boost vitamin D intake. (Be careful to protect yourself from the sun, though!) Many juices, cereals, breads, and other food products are fortified with calcium and vitamin D. Its a good idea to talk to your physician or a registered dietitian about your diet concerns; you might also want to talk to your doctor about adding a calcium/vitamin D supplement to your diet.
- Follow a regular exercise program that includes a combination of aerobic activity to strengthen your core and improve balance and weight-training exercises to build muscle. Speak with your health-care provider before starting any strenuous exercise routines.
- Look for a fall prevention class at your local community or senior center or at the Kendal at Oberlin wellness center.
- Stop smoking. The chemicals in tobacco products can destroy bone cells.
- Cut alcohol consumption back to one drink per day. Alcohol may decrease bone formation.
- Talk to your doctor about a bone density test that can measure the extent of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis cannot be cured, but it can be treated. If you are at risk, your doctor may recommend a prescription drug to reduce your risk of fracture.
If you have questions about osteoporosis, contact your doctor or talk to your Kendal at Home Care Coordinator. If you are new to Kendal Northern Ohio, learn more about the Care Coordinators with our free Meet the Team download, or schedule a tour at Kendal at Oberlin.