Osteoporosis is often referred to as the “silent epidemic” - you often don't know you have osteoporosis until you fracture or break a bone.
Most adults reach what we call our peak bone mass by our mid to late twenties. This is the strongest our bones will ever be. Over the years, our bones will naturally lose small amounts of their density from age related factors but lifestyle factors can also play an important role.
Alcohol, smoking, excess salt, a high intake of caffeine, a high intake of fizzy drink, a diet low in calcium/vitamin D/vitamin K, sedentary lifestyles/infrequent weight bearing exercises, menopause and some medications (especially corticosteroids often used to treat respiratory diseases) all have negative impacts on our bone health.
Liaise with your GP on a regular basis and get your bone density levels checked - try to aim at maintaining your current bone density. It may also be worthwhile linking yourself in with a physiotherapist who can show you through weight bearing exercises and stretches which will assist in maintaining your bone density.
Check your diet - are you getting enough calcium, vitamin D and vitamin K?
Excellent sources of calcium are dairy products (such as milk, cheese, yoghurt, custard etc) or dairy alternatives (such as calcium fortified soymilk or rice milk, almond milk etc).
Some dietary tips:
- for your age/gender you should be aiming for 2.5 serves of calcium rich foods everyday (1 serve is 250ml of milk, 2 slices of cheese, 200g yoghurt etc)
- take a daily vitamin D supplement if you don't get adequate sunlight exposure (check your vitamin D levels annually)
- limit alcohol, salt, caffeine and fizzy drink in your diet
- enjoy a variety of fruit and vegetables everyday, especially dark green leafy veggies as they are rich in vitamin K
- keep yourself hydrated. Dehydration causes dizzyness and confusion, you don't want to have a fall.
Samantha Ling (APD)
(find us on facebook at www.facebook.com/rostantnutrition )
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