17 ways to fight osteoporosis

osteoporosis is the silent, bone-thinning condition that can lead to fractures, back and neck pain, and a loss of up to 6 inches of height over time. about one in five women over age 50 in the United States have it. while most people know calcium strengthens bones, there are other ways to fight osteoporosis:

  1. Start early
    If you know you are at higher risk of osteoporosis, you can start fighting it early, i.e. from age 20 to 30. White and Asian people, as well as those who are relatively thin, are at greater risk of bone thinning than other people in the population.
  2. Exercise
    Exercise five to six days a week – 30 minutes of both aerobic and strengthening exercise two to three times a week.
  3. Cut back on salt
    There does seem to be a relationship between high sodium intake and bone loss, particularly for people with high blood pressure. In general, salt increases the amount of calcium excreted in urine and sweat, which can spur bone loss if you are already calcium deficient. And research suggests that people with high blood pressure lose more calcium in their urine.
  4. Watch your soda intake
    A high intake of cola – whether decaf, diet, or caffeinated – was linked to a greater risk of bone thinning. Many sodas, including colas, contain phosphorus, a mineral that we need. But phosphorus intake has to be balanced with calcium – if not, it may up your risk of bone thinning.
  5. Curb your caffeine
    Caffeine can interfere with calcium absorption, so any substance containing caffeine – whether soda, coffee, or chocolate – should be limited. Moderate intake – for example 300 milligrams of caffeine a day (which is about one cup of coffee or two cups of tea – is probably not a problem as long as you are getting enough calcium.
  6. Don’t smoke
    Smoking impedes the healing of fractures and reduces the body’s ability to make bone, she says.
  7. Watch your medications
    Some medications can increase the likelihood of getting osteoporosis. One of the main culprits is anti-inflammatory corticosteroids such as prednisone, which cause bone thinning. Proton pump inhibitors such as Prilosec and Prevacid (used to treat acid reflux) and antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and methotrexate may also be linked to osteoporosis.
  8. Limit alcohol
    Up to two drinks a day may actually help prevent fractures, but more than that could reduce the absorption of calcium, deplete calcium reserves, and reduce the level of hormones such as estrogen that are involved in bone production.
  9. Calcium
    Adults should get 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily and the recommendation goes up to 1,200 milligrams for women over 50 and men over 70. Supplements are typically safe, but should be taken at the recommended dose and along with vitamin D. Too much can increase the risk of kidney stones or other problems.
  10. Vitamin D
    Vitamin D helps the body absorb, retain, and use calcium. Sunlight triggers vitamin-D production in the body, and dietary sources of the vitamin include fortified foods such as milk, orange juice, and breakfast cereals. In general, it’s hard to get too much vitamin D unless you overdo supplements. (Too much can harm the heart or kidneys). Aim for 600 international units (IU) daily and 800 IU if you are over 70. The upper limit is 4,000 IU.
  11. Oral bisphosphonates
    Bisphosphonates are the most widely used osteoporosis medications, and include alendronate (Fosamax), risedronate (Actonel) and ibandronate (Boniva). These medications are intended to prevent fractures in the spine, hips, and wrists among people with abnormal bone loss. Boniva, however, has only been proven to reduce spinal fractures.
  12. Injectable bisphosphonate
    Zoledronic acid (Reclast) is an injectable bisphosphonate which can increase the risk of two rare complications – spontaneous femur fractures and osteonecrosis (bone death) in the jaw.
  13. Raloxifene
    Raloxifene (Evista) can reduce the risk of spinal fractures by 50%. The drug doesn’t, however, appear to prevent fractures not in the spine. Intended for use in postmenopausal women, it may decrease the risk of breast cancer and heart disease, but it also raises the risk of blood clots.
  14. Denosumab
    Denosumab (Prolia) is the newest osteoporosis drug on the market and prevents bone breakdown as well as bisphosphonates.
  15. Calcitonin
    Calcitonin (Fortical, Miacalcin) slows bone thinning and could reduce the risk of spinal fractures.
  16. Parathyroid hormone
    Parathyroid hormone is a naturally occurring hormone that stimulates new bone formation. It is usually given only to people who don’t respond to other medication.
  17. Hormone therapy
    Hormone therapy is rarely prescribed to women unless they cannot take other medications because it can increase the risk of breast cancer and heart disease.

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read article by Tammy Worth from Health.com: 17 ways to fight osteoporosis

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