Osteoporosis

Published November 26, 2012

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When you’re young, more bone is formed than is broken down, so density and strength increases until around the age of 30. After this time, bone density can start to decrease and for some people, this can lead to osteoporosis.

In women, menopause is the most common cause of osteoporosis, but there are other factors that can lead to it.

  • A family history of osteoporosis
  • Insufficient calcium in your diet
  • An inactive, sedentary lifestyle
  • Being of slight build
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Drinking excessive alcohol
  • Some medications
  • Being of Caucasian or Asian heritage

Symptoms of osteoporosis

  • There are no initial symptoms, as bone density decreases gradually.
  • Pain may occur as bones become deformed
  • Bone fractures

How to manage osteoporosis

Weight bearing exercises and resistance training are essential for maintaining healthy bone mass.

Your bones contain a high concentration of essential minerals, such as calcium and phosphorous that makes them hard and dense. Maintaining these minerals and other nutrients is vital. A diet of mainly fresh, unprocessed whole foods is recommended with an emphasis on dairy or soy products with added calcium, nuts, seeds, bony fish and fresh, green leafy vegetables.

Calcium

This is the major component of bone and adequate levels are essential to keep peak bone mass and ensure normal growth and development of healthy bones.

Magnesium

Although it is not widely known, magnesium supplementation is just as important as calcium in assisting with osteoporosis. It actually regulates your body’s calcium absorption and is involved in the structural integrity of bones and teeth.

Vitamin D3

This is one of the main regulators of calcium absorption and function, so vitamin D is vital for maintaining normal calcium metabolism and peak bone mass. Vitamin D is needed to absorb calcium from food and transfer it to your bones. It is obtained through a healthy diet and produced by the skin from sunlight. People with limited exposure to sunlight may well need to use supplements to ensure that adequate levels are maintained.

If symptoms persist, seek advice from your healthcare professional.

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