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Top 10 Resons to Talk to Your Doctor About Bone Health
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Top 10 Reasons to Talk to Your Doctor About Bone Health



~By Alison Ferguson, PT


happy bones



May is National Osteoporosis Month.  Listed below are 10 reasons why you should learn your risk factors for osteoporosis and change your lifestyle to build healthy bones for life.

#10.   Fifty percent of women and up to 25% of men over the age of 50 will break a bone due to low bone density or osteoporosis.  By 2020 half of all Americans over 50 are expected to have osteoporosis.

 #9.    Osteoporosis is a “silent disease”,  meaning you don’t always know you have it!  Often breaking a bone is the first clue you have osteoporosis.

 #8.   Getting enough calcium and Vitamin D is crucial to building strong, dense bones when you’re young and for maintaining bone strength as you age.  The amount of calcium needed varies between 1000- 1200mg per day depending on your age and sex.

Ask your doctor how much Vitamin D you need, as some people require more.  Most children and adults require 400- 1000 iu daily.

 #7.   About 70% of African Americans and 90% of Asian Americans and Native American Indians are lactose intolerant, which can make it difficult to get enough calcium and other important minerals found in milk and dairy products.  Talk to your doctor about other sources of calcium rich foods and drinks.

#6.   More than half of all Caucasian and Latina women over the age of 50 have low bone density or osteopenia.  This means bones are weakening but they don’t yet have osteoporosis.

#5.   If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding be sure to get enough calcium & vitamin D, both for yourself and your baby’s growing bones!  If you have a shortage of these essential nutrients your baby’s calcium needs will be met by robbing calcium from YOUR bones.

#4.  High impact, weight-bearing exercises help build bones and keep them strong.  However, if you have broken a bone due to osteoporosis, or are at risk of breaking a bone, then you may need to avoid high impact exercises.  Check with your doctor and Physical Therapist to find out what is the best exercise plan for you!

#3.   Drinking alcohol and caffeine in excess can lead to bone loss!  Limit alcohol to NO MORE THAN 2-3 drinks per day.  More than 3 cups of coffee per day can interfere with calcium absorption.

Salty (high sodium) foods also cause calcium loss.  Sodium intake should be less than 2,400mg per day.         

#2.   Certain medicines can be harmful to your bones!  Some of these medicines are:  antacids such as Gaviscon, Maalox and Mylanta;  many cancer treatment drugs;  Type II diabetes drugs ( such as Actos and Avandia);  medicines  for GERD/ ulcers (such as Nexium, Prevacid and Prilosec);  steroids (cortisone and prednisone);  some anti-seizure medicines (Dilantin, Phenobarbitol);  Lithium (used for treatment of depression and bipolar disorder);  Heparin (blood thinner);  Depro-Provera (contraceptive);  and thyroid hormones in excess.

 Check with your doctor to find out how you can offset any potential bone loss without stopping your medicine.  For more information check the National Osteoporosis website at http://nof.org.

 #1. The risk for a woman of breaking her hip is equal to her combined risk of breast, uterine and ovarian cancer!  For men over 50, the likelihood of breaking a bone due to osteoporosis is greater than having prostate cancer!

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