Osteoporosis is a serious—and common—condition that can strike any gender and at any age, but most often affects women after menopause. Just because osteoporosis tends to impact older women doesn’t mean that it is a normal part of aging. There are steps men and women alike can take to protect their bones and reduce their chances of suffering from dangerous osteoporosis fractures that need urgent care . Cut your odds of developing osteoporosis with these tips.
Maximize Your Calcium and Vitamin D Intake
Calcium and vitamin D are the founding blocks of strong bones. Food is the best source of calcium. Look for it in dairy products and green vegetables. Some cereals, fruit juices, and breads are also fortified with calcium to help you increase your intake. Talk to your doctor about how much calcium you should be getting each day based on your gender and age. If you don’t think you’re getting enough from food, ask your doctor if you should take a supplement. Vitamin D is found in milk and fatty fishes, but most people don’t get enough from food alone. Sunlight is the best source of vitamin D, but skin cancer risk means most people can’t get enough from sunlight, either. Your doctor can run a blood test to determine if you’re deficient in vitamin D and can recommend a supplement.
Smoking has a disastrous effect on bone health. It can speed up the rate of estrogen loss, which leaves bones vulnerable. The chemicals in cigarettes can also cause cell damage throughout the body, including the bones, and restrict the flow of nutrient-rich blood that helps to keep bones healthy.
Regular physical activity supports strong bones. Weight-bearing exercises, like jogging, can be especially beneficial. If you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, talk to your doctor about safe activities for you.
The Orthopedics & Joint Replacement department at Regional Medical Center of San Jose can treat joints damaged by osteoporosis and related fractures. In addition to orthopedic care, our hospital provides urgent care in our emergency room, heart care, stroke care, robotic surgery, and more. For a referral to one of our physicians, please call (408) 259-4000.