How to prevent osteoporosis

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Getting a little bit of sun every day during the summer gives our bodies the Vitamin D that we need to absorb calcium. Once Fall starts though, we need to focus on what we need to get enough Vitamin D and exercise to keep our bones strong to avoid osteoporosis.

Dr. Diana Bitner, a nationally recognized woman's health specialist from Spectrum Health, says like every preventable health problem, prevention starts with having a goal, knowing what to do to reach the goal, and then having a practical plan in place.

 

Osteoporosis is a common disease that affects 75 million people in the United States. Prevention of osteoporosis is based on making sure our bones are really strong and dense. Once their peak is reached at about 30 years old, that loss is minimized.

Bone cells are always turning over; old bone is being destroyed as new bone is being built. Most of our bone density is formed in our teen years when we're all growing up at a fast rate. For good bone strength teens need daily calcium, good food, and lots of Vitamin D exposure all year round. Exercise is also a way to keep up bone mass.

So here's the takeaway on what you need to do to prevent osteoporosis:

  • Exercise 30 minutes five days a week to keep your bones healthy.
  • Take Vitamin D suppliments if you're not getting enough sun. Take Vit D 1000-2000 IU per day starting as a teen, 400-600 IU per day as a young adult.
  • Try to eat at least 1200 milligrams of calcium per day. You can get this from foods like dairy, leafy greens, and anchovies.
  • Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol.
  • Be aware of past conditions which could indicate more risk such as anorexia, having taken a long course of oral steroid medication, hyperthyroidism, and many pregnancies without enough Vitamin D and Calcium, and newer conditions such as menopause.

Ask your doctor if it is time to get tested, and at least be assessed for risk factors.

 

Dr. Bitner's office is located at 3800 Lake Michigan Drive Northwest, Suite A. To schedule an appointment with her call (616) 267-8225.

All information was provided by Dr. Diana Bitner and her blog. Read more.

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