Osteoporosis is a disease of progressive bone loss. Our bones are composed of calcium and protein. Bones become porous when less calcium is built into the bone or the body absorbs calcium out of the bones and is unable to replace it. Osteoporosis can lead to an increased risk in fractures, most commonly compression fractures of the spine. In honor of Osteoporosis Awareness Month, Dr. Monica Piecyk, rheumatologist at NEBH, offers the following advice on keeping your bones strong and healthy.
Men and women ages 18 to 50 need about 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day. This daily amount increases to 1,200 milligrams when women turn 50 and men turn 70. Good sources of calcium include:
It is essential that you get enough vitamin D, as it improves your body’s ability to absorb calcium. One natural way many people get an adequate amount of vitamin D is from sunlight. Additionally, milk, swordfish, salmon, and tuna are good sources of vitamin D.
Exercise is important for building and maintaining bone density. Try running, walking and aerobics. Also include strength training exercises such as weight lifting or using elastic resistance exercise bands in your routine.
Avoid habits that can weaken bones