Osteoporosis is something that many of us know about; but what many of us don’t know are the shocking statistics that result from osteoporosis.
Many of us don’t know that osteoporosis accounts for more days spent in the hospital than diabetes, heart attack, or breast cancer in women. Or that 25% of those who fracture a hip die within six months. I don’t know about you, but those are some frightening statistics, given that over 40 million people in the United States either already have osteoporosis, or are at high risk of suffering from it due to low bone mass.
While post-menopausal women are at the greatest risk of osteoporosis, it is still crucial that both men and women of all ages understand the importance of bone health. We need to break the misconception that tells us that taking care of our bones is only for the “oldies”, because let’s face it, we are all getting older, and it is best to start taking preventative measures BEFORE you even cross that age threshold.
Statistics show that due to the previous lack of focus on bone health, the number of hip fractures in the United States could be tripled by 2020. While those statistics are grim, the good news is that you don’t have to be a part of it. Prevention may be easier than you think and here are some of the best ways to reduce your risk of osteoporosis.
1. Increase Calcium
You want to maintain a healthy diet with enough calcium which is most readily found in dairy products like milk and cheese. For those who are lactose intolerant, other calcium food sources include collard greens, broccoli, kale, figs, sardines and almonds.
2. Stay Active
Vitamin D is essential to getting calcium into our bones and that means getting out and getting active. Getting some sunshine in the early and late hours of the day is often the best for avoiding strong UV rays. Exercise also helps your bones grow stronger due to the pull of muscles on the bones. The best kind of exercise for building and maintaining bone density include weight-bearing and resistance exercises. Muscle-strengthening exercises such as yoga, hiking, stair climbing and tennis are also excellent options.
3. Avoid Losing Calcium
3.1. Popular carbonated soft drinks contain phosphoric acid which may weaken the intestinal lining and affect the absorption of calcium. Drinking seven or more colas a week is also associated with a reduction of bone mineral density and an increases risk of fractures.
3.2. High sodium intake is also bad for bones and also causes excessive calcium excretion through the kidneys. The American Heart Association suggests taking in less than 1,500mg of sodium daily.
3.3. Avoid going overboard on sugar as excess sugar inhibits calcium absorption and depletes phosphorus, which is important in facilitating the absorption of calcium.
3.4. While caffeine may help with keeping you awake through your morning meeting, it leaches calcium from bones with some researchers suggesting that roughly 6mg of calcium is lost for every 100mg of caffeine ingested.
If you know that you are at risk of osteoporosis and you are thinking about getting additional support with your calcium intake, supplementation is one of the best ways to do it. Be careful though with your choice of calcium supplementation. Ensure that the calcium is from a natural, bio-available source and that it actually gets to the bones where it is needed. Cheaper forms of calcium are not well-recognized by the body and can end up getting circulated in the blood stream and calcifying in the arteries, and may lead to increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Xtend-Life’s Bone-Support contains calcium from natural sources including marine and plant sources. We have also combined it with Vitamin K2, Vitamin D3, Magnesium and other essential nutrients, in the most bio-available forms to enhance the efficacy and absorption of the calcium.
Take action now and minimise the risk of relying on knee or hip replacements as a safety net. Some knee replacements such as the Zimmer Persona Knee Replacement, which had a piece of the device recalled due to complications which lead to a whole host of other problems, including the need for further surgery.
Remember that despite great advances in the medical field, no artificial replacement can ever match the real thing!
In good health.