Exercise And Bone Health
Another key way to keep bones healthy is exercise. Ideally, weight-bearing activities like jogging, jumping rope, and dancing are recommended because they place a higher load on your muscles, tendons, and bones, which respond by getting stronger. Lifting weights has the same effect, so dust off those dumbbells and give it a shot.
But if all thats just too daunting for you, start with short walks. Even 10 minutes a day can help.
Make these healthy lifestyle choices a habit and youll be on your way to strong bones. And dont fear the Brussels sproutssteamed in broth with a bit of olive oil, they can be quite appetizing.
Bone Health Step : Bone Density Testing
A bone mineral density test is the only way to determine the extent of your bone loss. The gold-standard bone density test is dual energy X-ray absorptiometry , says Diemer. “It’s a low-radiation test and is the most accurate bone test we have.”
Your doctor will determine how frequently you should have a bone density test. If you’re taking osteoporosis medications — or have certain risk factors — you may need a test every six months. Before having the test, check with your insurance company. Some will only cover bone density tests every two years.
“Usually we can get insurance companies to agree to cover yearly tests, at least for the first year after treatment starts,” Diemer tells WebMD. “If the physician says it needs to be done, they usually will pay. But you may need to be persistent in getting it covered.”
A Preventive Approach To Dealing With Osteoporosis Is Pivotal
If youve already experienced any type of fracture, your risk for another goes up, unfortunately. This is why Dr. Kage and Donna Duffy, PA-C believe in closely monitoring all of their patients at risk for osteoporosis or those who have it. They also keep special tabs on their patients who are 70+ years of age, as theyre more prone to an injury thats easily missed during screenings, a vertebral fracture.
Both Rheumatology and Allergy Institute of Connecticut, LLC offices are open and taking full safety precautions to keep you safe from COVID-19. to set up an osteoporosis consultation, or schedule an appointment through our website.
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The Common Nutrient That Can Reverse Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is an epidemic among older women in the U.S. Most mainstream doctors say the condition stems from low calcium intake. And they often prescribe toxic bisphosphonate drugs to treat it. Theyre even willing to recommend calcium supplements.
As always, I strongly urge you against taking bisphosphonate drugs and/or calcium supplements. The drugs simply dont work as intended. And they can cause a host of other serious side effects. And the same is true of calcium supplements.
Calcium supplements are a real danger
Suzanne Humphries, M.D., a physician who practiced for many years as a specialist in internal medicine, recently spoke out about the mainstream treatment of osteoporosis, which she calls irrational, dogmatic, harmful.
In fact, Dr. Humphries has seen numerous patients who were taking the recommended doses of calcium supplements who also suffered from vascular disease due to calcification of the arteries. Imaging studies on these patients revealed the shocking outlines of calcified, hardened blood vessels and heart valves. Some women even had calcifications in the blood vessels of their breast tissues.
Besides, the calcium/osteoporosis connection just never really added up
You see, dairy foods are the most common source of dietary calcium. Yet, in China which has the largest population in the world people rarely eat dairy foods. And osteoporosis has been virtually non-existent there. So, there has to be more to the story.
Strategies For Strengthening Bones
1. Vitamin D3
Vitamin D, specifically vitamin D3, increases calcium absorption from the food we eat. It also promotes calcium uptake in bones. Supplementing with vitamin D3 can decrease the risk of fractures in the hip and spine, and can increase bone density.
When thinking of bone strength, its common to think of calcium first. Research shows calcium consumption isnt the silver bullet for strengthening bones that we might think it is. However, meeting a minimum amount of recommended daily consumption is critical to maintaining bone health. Also, supplementing calcium can reduce the risk of hip and spine fractures. However, some studies suggest that taking calcium supplements can of other nutrients like iron and zinc, so be mindful of your supplement intake and, as always, consult with a physician to be sure youre taking the right supplement combination for your needs.
4. Strength Training
Strength training is a uniquely effective way to improve bone health and treat osteoporosis. It can improve bone strength in all areas of the body at any age. In a year-long study, strength training helped women, ages 65-75 years old, gain bone strength in their hips and lower back.
Following five minutes of training, women between the ages of 18 and 26 years old increased bone density in their legs and wrists. Three studies with men, ranging from 50 to 79 years old, showed strength training either stopped or reversed their age-related bone loss.
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Is Yogurt Bad For Bones
Regular consumption of dairy products are part of the diet recommendation preserving healthy bones. But, studies shows that the consumption of fermented milk products such as yogurt is linked with healthy growth of bones for the youngest and reduced bone loss and lower risk of broken bones in seniors.
Too Much Of A Good Thing
Some professional societies encourage people to take as much as 5,000 IU to 10,000 IU of vitamin D each day. This study provides new information that might prompt some to rethink those recommendations.
“This is further evidence that high doses are not advisable,” says Dr. Manson. “In terms of bone health, once you get to a certain level of intake, increasing that amount isn’t going to be beneficial.”
There is also some evidence that people are overdoing vitamin D supplementation on their own. Researchers looking at national survey data gathered from 1999 to 2014 found a 2.8% uptick in the number of people taking potentially unsafe amounts of vitamin D that is, more than 4,000 IU per day, according to a 2017 research letter published in JAMA. And during the same time period, the number of people taking 1,000 IU or more of vitamin D daily increased nearly 18%.
However, while most people should stick to a moderate daily dose of vitamin D, some people do need higher amounts, says Dr. Manson. These include people with conditions that prevent the body from properly absorbing nutrients, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis and people who have had gastric bypass surgery. But in most people, high doses are unnecessary, and potentially harmful.
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Be Alert To The Symptoms Of Osteoporosis
In addition to fractures, people with osteoporosis tend to have spinal curvature that leads to stooped posture and even a protrusion on their back known as kyphosis. The condition also causes a reduction in height, so what you hear about shrinking as you age is often due to osteoporosis. Unfortunately, back pain can also accompany bone loss.
Exercise Recommendations For Osteoporosis
Exercise is an essential ingredient to bone health. If you have osteoporosis, therapeutic exercise needs to be part of your osteoporosis treatment program.
But what exercises should you do and which ones should you avoid? What exercises build bone and which ones reduce your chance of a fracture? Is Yoga good for your bones? Who should you trust when it comes to exercises for osteoporosis?
A great resource on exercise and osteoporosis is my free, seven day email course called Exercise Recommendations for Osteoporosis. After you provide your email address, you will receive seven consecutive online educational videos on bone health one lesson each day. You can look at the videos at anytime and as often as you like.
I cover important topics related to osteoporosis exercise including:
- Can exercise reverse osteoporosis?
- Stop the stoop how to avoid kyphosis and rounded shoulders.
- Key components of an osteoporosis exercise program.
- Key principles of bone building.
- Exercises you should avoid if you have osteoporosis.
- Yoga and osteoporosis should you practice yoga if you have osteoporosis?
- Core strength and osteoporosis why is core strength important if you have osteoporosis?
Enter your email address and I will start you on this free course. I do not SPAM or share your email address with third parties. You can unsubscribe from my mail list at any time.
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How To Reverse Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a condition in which the density of the bodys bones decreases below what is considered a normal or safe limit. Proactive, preventative action can help delay the onset and reduce the degree of any osteoporosis that may later occur. While prevention is ideal, the reality is that many people have a diagnosis of osteoporosis thrust upon them with no warning or expectation. Upon being diagnosed with osteoporosis an obvious first question is can it be reversed? Once osteoporosis is confirmed, action can also be taken to prevent it from worsening or at the very least limiting the rate of bone mass reduction. With proper management, bone density can be increased, which means effectively reversing osteoporosis.
Here are some useful tips to prevent or reverse osteoporosis:
Vitamin D And Bone Health
Calcium has been relentlessly promoted to help improve bone health by restoring and/or preserving bone mineral density especially in the elderly. However, recent evidence suggests that calcium is only part of the requirement for healthy bones.
The importance of vitamin D to bone health is also now widely accepted because the link between low vitamin D levels and weak bones is established.
Vitamin D improves bone health by promoting the absorption of calcium into the blood and the retention of calcium in bones.
|How Vitamin D Helps Maintain Healthy Bones|
Studies show that combining vitamin D with calcium supplementation produces better results and significantly reduces the risks of bone fractures.
The form of vitamin D that provides the best benefits for bone health is vitamin D3.
Just as vitamin D helps calcium to improve bone health, vitamin K is also essential for the same reason.
Researchers believe that both vitamins should be combined with calcium to reduce the risks of bone diseases. In fact, taking large doses of calcium without vitamins K and D can be detrimental to cardiovascular health.
On the other hand, vitamins D and K drive calcium from the blood into the bones where it is needed.
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Smoking And Alcohol Use
Research has found that tobacco use leads to a decrease in bone density however, the reason why is complicated. Studies have shown that smoking can also increase the risk of fracture as well as slow bone healing after a fracture has occurred.
It is thought that smoking could lead to a decrease in bone density through many factors, including:
- Smokers are often thinner and have smaller bones.
- Smokers typically exercise less than nonsmokers.
- Poor diet is related to tobacco use.
- People who smoke tend to go through menopause at an earlier age than nonsmokers.
When it comes to alcohol use, research has found that there is a direct link between heavy drinking and osteoporosisespecially in people who drank heavily during adolescence and early adulthood.
The reason alcohol has such a negative effect on bone health is not well understood however, people of any age consuming excess amounts of alcohol are found to have lower bone density and greater bone loss.
Whats New With This Most Recent Study
This research found that taking vitamin D supplements did not protect against fractures in people over 50. The authors examined 33 research studies including over 50,000 people for their analysis. However, and its a big however, study investigators note several times that their research included only healthy people out in the community, and that their findings do not apply to elderly people living in nursing homes who may have a poorer diet, less sun exposure and mobility, and who are at particularly high risk for fractures. Indeed, the original recommendations for calcium supplementation were based on a study of elderly, nursing-home bound women with vitamin deficiencies and low bone density, for whom calcium and vitamin D supplements did significantly reduce fracture risk.
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Can Osteoporosis Be Reversed Without Medications
Your doctor diagnoses osteoporosis based on bone density loss. You can have different degrees of the condition, and catching it early can help you prevent the condition from worsening.
You cannot reverse bone loss on your own. But there are a lot of ways you can stop further bone loss.
If you are diagnosed with osteoporosis or at a greater risk for developing it, your doctor may recommend certain medications to take. Your risk for the condition may increase due to:
- prior health conditions
- certain medication use
Treatment with medication aims to prevent the condition from getting worse and reduce your risk for fracturing bones.
Two types of medications can help treat osteoporosis.
- Antiresorptive medications. They slow the breakdown of bone density. You can take them as oral tablets, nasal sprays, injections, and intravenous administrations. The most common drugs prescribed are bisphosphonates like alendronate, risedronate, and zoledronic acid. Other options are estrogen-like medicines, such as denosumab and calcitonin.
- Anabolics. They generate more bone than you are losing. This helps to rebuild your bone density. They are only available through injection. They include parathyroid hormone , parathyroid hormone-related protein , and romosozumab-aqqg.
You cannot reverse bone loss on your own without medications, but there are many lifestyle modifications you can make to stop more bone loss from occurring.
Other Important And Effective Ways To Protect Your Bones
There are other methods that may be more effective at maintaining bone health and reducing fracture risk. One that we can likely all agree on is regular physical activity. Weight-bearing exercise like walking, jogging, tennis, and aerobics definitely strengthens bones. Core exercises like yoga and Pilates can improve balance. All of this can help reduce falls and fracture risk.
And so, in the end, I am recommending what I always end up recommending: a Mediterranean-style diet rich in colorful plants, plenty of legumes, fish, plus low-sugar, low-fat dairy and plenty of varied physical activity throughout your entire life and maybe calcium and/or vitamin D supplementation for certain people, following a discussion with their doctors.
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Safer Exercise Options With Osteoporosis
If you have osteoporosis, the risk of a fracture with high-intensity exercise and poorly performed strength training can outweigh the bone-building benefits of these exercises. The best approach is to have an exercise program put together specifically for you by a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist.The program may include:
- weight-bearing exercise such as brisk walking
- gentle exercises that focus on posture and balance.
How Does Calcium Help Prevent Osteoporosis
Calcium makes bones strong. In fact, bones and teeth contain 99% of the body’s total calcium, with the remaining 1% in intracellular and extracellular fluids. Bones act as a storehouse for calcium, which is used by the body and replaced by the diet throughout a person’s life. If enough calcium is not consumed, the body takes it from the bones. If more calcium is removed from the bones than is consumed in the diet, the bones become fragile and weak as a person gets older, leading to osteoporosis and fractures.
Osteoporosis prevention begins during childhood and adolescence by getting enough exercise and the proper nutrients, including calcium and vitamin D. However, adults can help prevent osteoporosis in the same ways.
The importance of calcium in developing and maintaining bone mass varies throughout a person’s life. At times of rapid and significant bone growth or rapid bone loss , calcium is more important. Therefore, to reduce the risk of osteoporosis, calcium intake should be the highest during adolescence and after 50 years of age. See Prevention of Osteoporosis for more information.
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Causes And Risk Factors
Normally, we cant feel whats happening inside our bones, explains Deborah Sellmeyer, M.D., medical director of Johns Hopkins Metabolic Bone Center. Yet throughout our life, a team of specialized cells is constantly updating the microscopic framework of collagen and minerals, including calcium, that keeps bones strong. Like a never-ending highway reconstruction project, old bone is broken down and replaced daily with new bone.
Until about age 25, this project adds more new bone than it takes away, so bone density increases. From about age 25 to age 50, bone density tends to stay stable with equal amounts of bone formation and bone breakdown. After age 50, bone breakdown outpaces bone formation and bone loss often accelerates, particularly at the time of menopause.
The risk for osteoporosis and osteopenialow bone density thats not yet in the osteoporosis rangeis higher in women because female bones typically are smaller and less dense than male bones. The risk increases at menopause, when levels of bone-bolstering estrogen fall. But men are also at risk. A family history of osteoporosis-related fractures boosts odds for both sexes.
Certain medical conditions can threaten bone strength directly or via the effects of medicines and other treatments. These include overactive thyroid or parathyroid glands, chronic lung disease, cancer, endometriosis, a vitamin D deficiency and medications such as prednisone.
Other risk factors include these conditions and practices: