You can change your risk for osteoporosis by following 3 easy steps:
- Get more calcium into your body.
- Get more exercise into your life.
- Get more knowledge about your bones and your risk for osteoporosis.
There are dozens of informative articles here on HSS.edu to help you with those 3 steps and give you the latest news about osteoporosis and its treatment and prevention. You can also type "osteoporosis" in the search box at the top of each HSS.edu web page.
- Adding calcium to your diet is vital, especially early in life:
- According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, the recommended daily calcium intake for children 1-3 years old is 500 mg of calcium per day; 800 mg of calcium is needed by children 4-8 years old, and young people 9-18 years old should get 1,300 mg of calcium each day. Adult men and women require 1200-1500 mg per day.
- Whether you are young or old, try to add calcium-fortified juices or milk to your diet. Low-fat milk, low fat frozen yogurt, some cheeses, bok choy, collards, and almonds are all good dietary sources of calcium.
- Although dietary sources of calcium are preferred, calcium supplements may be used to meet your daily calcium intake. Remember not to take all your calcium at one time. Calcium is best absorbed when taken in small amounts throughout the day.
- Vitamin D is important for the absorption of calcium. Although sunlight is a good source of Vitamin D, most people use sunblock, which may prevent sufficient Vitamin D absorption through the skin. A multivitamin or calcium supplement containing Vitamin D would be good sources.
- Cut down or eliminate cigarette smoking and drinking an excessive amount of alcoholic beverages.
- Thirty minutes of a weight bearing exercise, such as walking five times a week and practicing strengthening exercises using resistance three times a week, are recommended. Classes such as Yoga, Pilates, T'ai Chi Chih, and other exercises, can help improve balance and flexibility. These classes and more are offered at HSS's Integrative Care Center.
- Ask your health care provider about a bone density test.
Major Risk Factors:
- Personal history of fracture as an adult
- Family history of fracture (first degree relative)
- Low body weight
- Current smoking
- Use of oral corticosteroid therapy for more than three months
- Gender-females are most at risk for developing osteoporosis
Additional Risk Factors:
- Estrogen deficiency
- Low calcium intake (lifelong)
- Excessive alcohol consumption
For more information, follow the links below: