Osteoporosis Reversal

Osteoporosis can strike men, women and even children. It is aging women that are particularly at risk as they pass through menopause and hormone levels drop. Bone health is important throughout a woman's life, and there are things she can do to prevent osteoporosis and promote osteoporosis reversal.

Know the risk factors

Your family genetics and childhood bone health both play a role in the health of your bones when you reach age 65. Other controllable factors, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, include the following

  • Body weight too low for your height.
  • Unhealthy diet low in calcium and vitamin D.
  • Immobility and inactivity.
  • Diets with too much protein, sodium and caffeine.
  • Smoking.
  • Drinking too much alcohol.
  • Weight loss without exercise.
  • Use of some medications such as corticosteroids over long periods of time.
  • Illnesses including thyroid problems and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoporosis reversal

While complete reversal isn't possible when osteoporosis is diagnosed, there are ways to slow down the progression of the disease.

  • Eat more fruits and vegetables as rich sources of natural calcium and vitamin D that work together to keep bones strong. Since your body doesn't produce calcium, if you aren't getting sufficient levels daily, it is absorbed from your bones. Vitamin D is needed to help bones absorb calcium. Use this calcium calculator to help determine if you're getting enough in your diet.
  • Exercise regularly to improve your movement and include weight bearing exercises to keep bones strong. Add posture exercises to prevent drooping shoulders, hip and spine strengthening exercises, and balance routines that strengthen your legs and improve balance to reduce the risk of falling.
  • Make lifestyle changes if you have any habits in the risk factors list.
  • Many doctors recommend that women use hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for a few years while going through menopause as studies show it improves bone density in the women who take it.
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves certain osteoporosis medications that help to slow bone loss or in some cases, actually rebuild bone density. They are approved for postmenopausal women, men and people already diagnosed with osteoporosis that take steroid medications.

Osteoporosis myths

Myths abound about supplements and the effects on osteoporosis. One myth is that taking extra calcium supplements prevents the disease. Studies show that consuming more calcium than your body needs does not offer any extra benefits. Another myth is that people do not need vitamin D supplements. The truth is that if your body isn't getting enough of this vitamin through food or sun exposure, taking a supplement does help. Remember, in order for calcium to be absorbed into your bones, it needs a sufficient amount (800 to 1,000 International Units daily over age 50) of vitamin D.

No one wants to think about falling and breaking a bone. You can remain healthy and active in your later years if you follow these strategies for osteoporosis reversal and prevention.

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