Osteoporosis creeps up on people as they age. The bone density lessens and the bones become more prone to breaks. Unfortunately, no visible symptoms are available for an early diagnosis. Doctors rely on family medical histories and bone density scans to know if you are losing bone mass.
You can help yourself retain healthy bones, though. If you know that osteoporosis runs in the family, take measures to protect your bones. Here are 7 things you can do to keep your bones healthy.
1. Calcium. Calcium is the main building block of your bones. WebMD reminds you to make sure you are getting plenty of calcium in your diet. Drink milk and calcium enriched orange juice. Pick foods that are rich in calcium. If you are concerned you aren't getting enough, take a calcium supplement. An interesting tidbit is that coral calcium is not really any better than any other type of calcium.
2. Vitamin D. In order to help your body get the most out of the calcium, WebMD states that you need to have vitamin D as well. This aids in the absorption of the calcium.
3. Soy. For women who are going through menopause or are post-menopausal, the lack of estrogen can effect your bones. The Mayo Clinic recommends taking estrogen to keep your bones healthy. If you can't do that, soy is a great phyto-estrogen that your body can convert. Be sure to speak with your doctor first if you or someone in your family has a history of breast cancer.
4. Exercise. According to Medical News Today, exercise increases your bone density. Doing moderate exercise will help keep your bones strong as you age.
5. Yoga. Doing yoga and various stretches help with balance as you age, according to Medical News Today. This will help minimize your chances of falling and breaking a bone, which is really important.
6. No smoking. According to the Mayo Clinic, smoking decreases your bone density, so giving up smoking or never starting is the best way to prevent osteoporosis.
7. Alcohol. Drinking more than two drinks a day can decrease your bone formation, so the Mayo Clinic recommends you limit your alcohol intake.
As you age, protecting your bones becomes very important. Make keeping your skeleton strong a priority.