Osteoporosis is a disease that is generally found in older women. Once you go through menopause, you have fewer hormones, such as estrogen, coursing through your body and helping to rebuild bone. Because of this, your bones become more and more porous, thus becoming more and more brittle in the process. This is why women with osteoporosis incur more broken bones than other people. But there are ways you can prevent falls and broken bones. Here are a few:
- Exercise: The more you exercise, the more you strengthen your core and improve your flexibility, balance, and strength. To some this may seem counterintuitive because the more you move the more you risk falling, but the combination of strength, flexibility and balance helps with coordination, which will lower your risk of falls.
- Cut back on caffeine: The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has recommended no more than 300mg of caffeine a day. But coffee and sodas aren't the only sources of caffeine. Keep a close eye on the ingredients in your sports drinks and supplements because going over this recommended amount puts you at a higher risk of hip fractures.
- Take your medications: Not everyone chooses to take medications when they find out they have osteoporosis, but if you want to prevent fractures, taking medications is one of the best ways to do so. Calcium helps to maintain strong bones, and Vitamin D helps your body absorb the calcium. The Institute of Medicine recommends 1200mg of calcium and 600 IU of Vitamin D for women over the age of 50. If you are taking any other type of medication, be sure to talk to your doctor because several different types of medication can put you at higher risk for osteoporosis.
- Look at your environment: Many fractures are caused from tripping and falling, but there are several ways to "fall-proof" your environment that will cut down on that risk.
- Use nightlights
- Keep the floor clutter free
- Wear low-heeled shoes
- Put away electrical cords
- Make sure all rugs are skid-proof
- Put grab-bars in the shower and beside the toilet
- Lay down carpet or skid-proof rugs on hard floors
- Stop smoking and drinking: Both tobacco and alcohol can lower your bone density. Also, drinking heavily increases your risk of falling and generally comes with poor nutrition.
Having osteoporosis doesn't necessarily mean you will frequently have broken bones. Take care of yourself and follow these 5 simple steps and your risk of breaking a bone will decrease significantly. Contact a medical professional, such as at Radius, for more help.