There are some things you can do every day to reduce the risk of bone loss and disease throughout your life. Bone loss may have already started, but you can still take steps to keep your bones strong and possibly prevent osteoporosis later in life.
Medically Reviewed by Dr. K on 25th Feb 2022.
How Can You Prevent Osteoporosis From Worsening
Many factors that increase the risk of osteoporosis are outside your control, such as your genes, age, and gender. However, this would not rule out the possibility of eliminating the disease. The stuff you do on a daily basis will help you develop strong bones.
Exercise Your Bones
When you strengthen your bones, they get stronger, much like your muscles. Exercises that need you to carry weight are the best for your bones. They’re the ones who make your body move in response to gravity. This causes the body to produce new bone.
The below are examples of weight-bearing exercises:
- Climbing stairs
- Tennis and other racket sports
- Tai chi
- Water aerobics
Strength training is also essential to prevent osteoporosis. When you work your muscles, they pull on your bones. This strengthens the bones. These exercises also improve flexibility and reduce the risk of falling, the leading cause of hip fractures.
Any of the other following exercises will help you gain muscle and bone density:
- Lifting packaged foods or grocery bags.
- Lifting free weights is a great way to get in shape.
- Taking care of little ones.
- Using weights on the ankles and wrists.
- Using elastic resistance bands.
- Using free weights or weight devices.
- Pushups, squats, and other exercises involving your body weight.
Calcium and Vitamin D Build Bones
When the body lacks calcium, it can begin to break down your bones to get what it needs. You can lose bone mass as a result of this. As a result, it’s essential to have this nutrient in your diet or take supplements every day to prevent osteoporosis. Where to have it:
- Dairy items that are low in fat or fat-free.
- Juices and proteins filled with calcium, such as cereal, soy milk, and tofu.
- Sardines and salmon with bones
- Kale and broccoli are dark green vegetables that can be consumed.
Vitamin D helps your body absorb the calcium you eat. Not many foods naturally have the nutrient, but you can get it in:
- Salmon, mackerel, and tuna are examples of fatty fish.
- Beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks
- Milk, cereal, and orange juice are examples of fortified foods.
When sunshine hits the skin, it produces vitamin D naturally. Spending a little time outside every day would provide you with at least some of what you need. But don’t overdo it: too much sun exposure increases the risk of skin cancer.
What Else Prevents Osteoporosis?
Don’t drink too much alcohol. Consuming more than two drinks a day has been attributed to an increased risk of bone loss.
Quit smoking. It increases the risk of bone deterioration and fractures by preventing the hormone oestrogen from functioning correctly in the body.
Avoid the “female athlete triad.” Thin bones, a loss of a menstrual period, and eating disorders may also be problems with women who work out and train hard. It also occurs in young people who follow rigorous diets despite doing a lot of exercises. Oestrogen levels are lower in athletes who have trouble with their cycles. This also results in a reduction in bone mass.
Drink less soda. According to some research, colas, rather than other carbonated soft drinks, cause bone loss. The extra phosphorus in them may prevent calcium absorption in your body. It’s also possible that women are substituting soda for calcium-rich beverages like milk.
Will Medicine Prevent Osteoporosis and Fractures?
Some medications may assist the body in maintaining or gaining bone mass which later helps to prevent osteoporosis. Doctors often recommend them to people, especially women, who are at risk for osteoporosis or bone fractures. Consult the doctor and see if these medications are proper for you.
Do I Need a Bone Density Test?
A bone density examination assesses the strength of a particular portion of one or more bones and may predict the likelihood of developing osteoporosis. A dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA or DEXA) scan is the most common. It measures bone density with a small dose of radiation.
However, the scan isn’t appropriate for everybody. People who can have DXA scans for bone density, according to the US Preventive Services Task Force, include:
- Women above the age of 65
- Younger women with a higher-than-average risk of fracture with their age group
However, the test differs for everyone and it can be a way for you to prevent osteoporosis from worsening. Talk to your doctor about whether the test is a good idea for you.
- National Osteoporosis Foundation: “Prevention: Who’s at Risk?"
- McIlwain, H, MD, and Debra Fulghum Bruce, PhD, Reversing Osteopenia: The Definitive Guide to Recognizing and Treating Early Bone Loss in Women of All Ages, Henry Holt, 2004.
- U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: “Osteoporosis: Screening.”