When people think of osteoporosis, they often think of little old ladies how are not eating enough calcium.  Unfortunately, both genders are getting osteoporosis younger than ever right now.  Osteoporosis is actually the term of a bone disease due to decreasing bone mass and deterioration of bone from low levels of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D.  Osteoporosis can be serious because it can lead to an increased risk for falls and fractures most commonly of the hip, spine, and wrist.

Some statistics say up to 4 out of 5 women will get osteoporosis.  Prevention is so important because even pharmaceuticals cannot build the quality of bone that keeps the dangers of osteoporosis at bay.  While there are rick factors you cannot change like age, gender, race, genetics, and being post-menopausal; here are things you can do at every age to decrease your risk.

1. Get Active!

Your peak bone density is in your twenties and thirties.  The higher you build you bone density, the further it can drop without reaching osteoporosis.  Regular weight bearing exercises and muscle strengthening exercises also help to reduce the amount of bone lost.  This is why it is so important to do strength training exercises your whole life.  Light weights or resistance bands and walking programs can be enough; you do not need to be a body builder.

2. Increase your calcium intake.

Your bones are made of calcium.  Take calcium from different sources, not just supplements.  Dairy products like yogurt and cheese, green leafy vegetables like kale and broccoli, some fish like sardines and salmon, some fruit like apricots and figs, and tofu are all good sources.

3. Increase your Vitamin D intake.

It is suspected that most people who live in the north do not get enough Vitamin D.  Vitamin D is needed so your body can absorb calcium.  Vitamin D comes in supplements and is absorbed in your body through sunlight.

4. Don’t drink excessive amounts of alcohol.

Large amounts of alcohol can decrease bone formation.

5. Stop Smoking.

Smoking prevents estrogen from stopping bone loss.

6. Get a Bone Density Test!

Just like many health issue, early detection is important.  DEXA bone scans are the best way to determine bone density.  From there, your internist can determine the best plan of action.