Good Bone Health and Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis means “porous bones” and can lead to debilitating fractures and extensive medical care. In fact, it is estimated that the annual medical costs of osteoporosis and fractures among U.S. elderly patients is upwards of $16 billion.
The good news is that there are a number of ways you can help keep your bones healthy.
Weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises are important for building and maintaining bone mass. Weight-bearing exercises such as walking, hiking, running, stair climbing, and jumping rope compel you to move against gravity. Muscle-strengthening exercises, like weight lifting and body-weight training, require resistance against gravity. Always work closely with a health care practitioner and consider any limitations you may have when starting an exercise regimen.
One factor in improving bone health that you may not have considered is adequate sleep. I tell my patients to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night. Bone regeneration occurs during sleep as a result of the secretion of growth hormones. Studies have found that sleep loss associated with obstructive sleep apnea may indirectly increase the risk of low bone mass and fracture.
Excessive alcohol consumption may affect bone health in many ways. Alcohol disrupts the absorption of calcium by hindering the production of vitamin D, which is essential for strong bones. Heavy drinking and alcoholism may also cause hormonal deficiencies in men and women. For men, less testosterone is linked to low production of the cells that stimulate bone formation. In women, habitual alcohol use may lead to irregular menstrual cycles, which may cause reduced estrogen levels. Aging women should be careful because the decrease in estrogen that also occurs after menopause may cause accelerated bone loss.
Nutrition is a key factor in the prevention and treatment of low bone density and osteoporosis. A diet rich in calcium and vitamin D from sources such as dairy, nuts, leafy greens, and fish may help build strong, dense bones. An adequate supply of vitamin D is required for the body to absorb calcium. Calcium is an essential mineral, but our bodies cannot produce it. That’s why we need to consume calcium in the foods we eat.
Take Nutritional Supplements
Nutrition is a key factor in the prevention and treatment of low bone density and osteoporosis. But many Americans do not include enough nutrient-rich foods in their diets to protect bone health. This is why nutritional supplements are so important.
The best way to prevent bone loss is to have a strong foundation of health. This is done with regular chiropractic check-ups, with regular exercise and with a clinically designed nutrition program made specifically for your body using Nutrition Response Testing®. By taking some common sense measures, you can live a full, active life free of osteoporosis. For more information, call us at 501-842-1004.