Osteoporosis is a common musculoskeletal disorder seen mostly in postmenopausal females, which makes the bones extremely sensitive and weak.1 The bones become so weak that even a slight jerk in the body may cause the bones to break. The areas which are fractured the most due to osteoporosis are the hip, spine, and the wrist.
Osteoporosis is preceded by a condition called as osteopenia, in which there is loss of calcium from the bone resulting in bone loss making the bones weak and brittle.2 While osteoporosis itself cannot be reversed, one can reduce the risk of osteoporosis or prevent its progress by adhering to a healthy diet.
How to Reduce the Risk of Osteoporosis?
Below mentioned are some of the ways to reduce the risk of osteoporosis:
Abstinence from Carbonated Beverages:
Drinks like sparkling water, carbonated soft drinks, and even Champagne contribute significantly towards bone loss. The ingredients present in these drinks take away a lot of calcium from the body, which results in bone loss leading to osteoporosis. Thus, abstaining from these drinks can result in an increase of calcium in the body with resultant increased bone health and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
Excess consumption of proteins increases acidic content in the body. The body then has to balance the acidic content with equal amount of alkaline, which is taken from the bones and the teeth. This makes the bones brittle and weak leading to osteoporosis. Also, due to increased acidity in the body as a result of increased protein intake a lot of calcium is lost in the urine, which makes the bones still weak and brittle. Thus, it is important to cut down on protein intake, especially if you have a known diagnosis of osteoporosis to reduce its risks and effects.
Avoiding Acid Blocking Medications:
A lot of people are on acid blocking medications like Nexium, Prevacid or Zantac for conditions like hiatal hernia or heartburn. This needs to be avoided as stomach acids are required for absorption of minerals like calcium, which are extremely essential for healthy bones and preventing osteoporosis. It is essential to take these medications for a limited period of time and not exceed more than 6 to 8 weeks to prevent complications from osteoporosis.
Caffeine is something which significantly contributes towards osteoporosis and thus, should be completely avoided.3 Studies suggest that one cup of coffee a day can lead to loss of about 200 mg of calcium, which is quite a significant amount when it comes to osteoporosis. Thus, it is recommended that even if an individual needs to have a cup of coffee, then one must opt for a natural decaffeinated coffee instead of caffeine to reduce the risks and complications of osteoporosis.
Increase Calcium Intake:
It is well known that calcium is essential for healthy bones. Thus, incorporating a diet that is rich in calcium is quite beneficial to make the bones healthy and reducing the risks and complications of osteoporosis. Calcium citrate is perhaps the best form of calcium to take to reverse the effects of osteoporosis. Calcium citrate needs to be taken on empty stomach for best results. Around 1000 mg a day of calcium is a must for majority of postmenopausal females who are at risk for osteoporosis.
This is also extremely vital for healthy bones in the body and to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Early morning sunlight is perhaps the best source of vitamin D. Vitamin D helps in absorption of calcium and stores it in bones, thus making it healthy and strong and reducing the risk of osteoporosis. If an individual is not able to get adequate sunlight at the place where one lives then vitamin D supplements can be used for this purpose.
This is one of the common causes of bone loss in postmenopausal females. Thus, it is important to get the hormone levels checked and maintain adequate levels of estrogen and progesterone in order to keep the bones healthy and reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Excessive levels of cortisol, insulin, and parathyroid hormone tends to result in bone loss. Thus, these levels also need to be monitored and adequate treatments administered to keep the levels in check, so that the bones do not get affected as a result of elevated levels of hormones.
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