Tags: Health Topics | Osteoporosis | bones | aging | national osteoporosis foundation | health

Preserving Your Health While Battling Osteoporosis

a doctor uses a pen to point out osteoporosis in a hip
(Chris Fertnig/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 02 May 2019 09:36 PM

May is National Osteoporosis Month and the National Osteoporosis Foundation has introduced new resources including interactive digital tools, a podcast, and a first-of-its-kind patient registry in honor of its 35th anniversary. Just last month the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new injectable osteoporosis drug called Evenity which is very expensive and licensed only for postmenopausal women. But experts say lifestyle changes can help prevent and manage the condition.

"Osteoporosis is responsible for more than two million broken bones every year in the U.S. at a cost of $52 billion," says Elizabeth Thompson, CEO, National Osteoporosis Foundation. "A full 84% of patients who break a bone are not tested or treated after they suffer a fracture. This is not acceptable.

"We have diagnostic tools and well-tolerated, cost-effective medicines that can turn this around. We're encouraging people of all ages, and especially older Americans, to get active, follow a bone healthy diet, and learn the facts about osteoporosis treatment to stay bone strong."

While some risk factors — like age and genetics — might be out of your control, others including diet, exercise, not smoking, and drinking alcohol moderately can help preserve your bone health.

"It's important to note that osteoporosis and the broken bones it can cause are NOT part of normal aging," Claire Gill, Chief Mission Officer of NOF, tells Newsmax. "There is a lot you can do you protect your bones throughout life. Osteoporosis prevention should begin in childhood, but it doesn't stop there. Whatever your age, the habits you adopt now can affect your bone health for the rest of your life."

"Diet can play an important role in managing osteoporosis," says Gabe Mirkin, M.D. "Eating an anti-inflammatory diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, seeds, and nuts has been scientifically proved to reduce the risk of bone fractures and increase bone density.

"On the other hand, pro-inflammatory foods that include processed meats, sugar-added foods, sugared drinks, and fried foods will exacerbate the condition."

Supplements can help. If you are not getting enough vitamins and minerals to build better bones, you might consider taking supplements, according to Healthline. Calcium is an important nutrient for building bone and slowing the pace of bone loss, but it is not a
"magic bullet." It needs its indispensable assistant, vitamin D, to help the body absorb calcium.

Experts recommend taking 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium daily for adults up to age 50 and 1,200 milligrams for people aged 51 and older when bone loss accelerates. Fortified foods can help provide the vitamin D you need to absorb calcium efficiently or you can manufacture your own by spending 5-30 minutes in the sun daily, making sure arms and legs are exposed.

Exercise is also an important component of bone health. But always check with your healthcare provider to ensure you embark upon a safe program.

"You may want to avoid high impact weight-bearing exercises like jogging, running, or jumping rope if you are at increased risk of fracture," notes Gill. "Low-impact, weight-bearing exercises can also help keep bones strong and are a safe alternative. Elliptical machines and fast walking on a treadmill or outdoors are two examples."

In addition, she recommends lifting weights or using exercise bands to offer resistance against gravity and build stronger bones.

"Osteoporosis is manageable," she says. "Although there is no cure, there are steps you can take to prevent, slow down, or stop its progress. In some cases, you may even be able to improve bone density and reverse the disorder to some degree."

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Health-News
May is National Osteoporosis Month and the National Osteoporosis Foundation has introduced new resources including interactive digital tools, a podcast, and a first-of-its-kind patient registry in honor of its 35th anniversary.
bones, aging, national osteoporosis foundation, health
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2019-36-02
Thursday, 02 May 2019 09:36 PM
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