Osteoporosis: How to NOT Give Yourself a Break

Osteoporosis is a really hot topic right now.  And it should be.  As we get older our bones become more brittle and do not rebuild themselves as they did when we were younger.  Part of this has to do with our nutrition and our activity levels.  These things are called “modifiable risk factors.”  Other things have to do with our genetics and body composition.  These are known as “nonmodifiable risk factors.”

Nonmodifiable risk factors are the worst because we can’t really change them.  They include:

  1. Being a woman (aren’t we just soooo lucky?)
  2. Getting older
  3. Having a small frame.
  4. If you are Asian or white, you are at higher risk.
  5. If there is a family history of osteoporosis.
  6. Too much thyroid hormone.  If you are hyperthyroid or are over taking thyroid for weight loss you are at risk.
  7. Medical conditions that affect the parathyroid, stomach, or intestines (including weightloss stories)

Modifiable risk factors are the best because you can change them.  You can prevent or reduce the “inevitable.”

  1. Low calcium intake is, of course, a huge contributor.  Milk, tofu, broccoli, kale, peas, salmon, spinach, and almonds are great food resources.  Also taking a calcium supplement 1000 to 1200mg every day!  Don’t take it all at once though.  Divide it in 2 to 3 doses a day so that your body can absorb it all.  Also remember separate your calcium from some of your other medications.  Check out our blog on drug interactions for more information.
  2. Low vitamin D.  This can happen pretty easily here in the southwest.  We don’t go outside a lot (its too bloody hot during the summer), we wear a lot of sunscreen (which blocks out the UV light that your body uses to convert the vitamin D to it’s active form), or we get really tanned (which also blocks out the UV light).  It is quite the catch-22.  Try to get out in the sun, with some sunscreen and you will absorb some UV light.  Foods that contain vitamin D are some of the same ones that contain calcium like dairy and salmon, but also egg yolks.  Try to get about 600 IU of vitamin D a day!
  3. Tobacco use.  The body really should be a non-smoking zone.
  4. Drinking too much alcohol.  It isn’t good for your liver, your bones, your skin, or the rest of your body.  Everything in moderation!
  5. Sedentary lifestyle.  It is all about weight baring exercise.  Walking is amazing for you and yoga is another way to do gentle weight bearing exercise.  Weight training is also another great way to strengthen your bones.  You don’t need to do anything dramatic, just some light 2 to 5 pound weights.  Less weight = more repetitions.  You can do it!
  6. Medications like corticosteroids, antidepressants, proton pump inhibitors like Protonix and Prilosec, and methotrexate can also cause osteoporosis.  I know sometimes it is impossible for some people to get off these medications, which is why it is so important to modify all other risk factors.
  7. Eating disorders.  If you don’t eat right or if you throw up to try to stay thin you are doing yourself more damage than just to your brain and your body.  You are also hurting your bones.  Try to get help so you can be healthy and happy.

Hopefully this blog has helped clear up some myths and point you into the right direction for your better bone health!

Remember, Mixtures Pharmacy has all the supplements you need in order to keep your bones healthy!

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