How to Prevent Bone Loss
Bone loss, also known as osteoporosis, is a common medical condition that afflicts both women and men as they age.
In the United States, as many as half of all women and 25% of men will experience a bone fracture due to osteoporosis during their lifetime. Globally, it’s estimated that a fracture related to bone loss occurs somewhere on earth every three seconds.
Making matters worse is the fact that osteoporosis is a disease with no obvious symptoms. Most people don’t know they have it until a fracture occurs.
What Causes Bone Loss
The human body is efficient at building bone from childhood into the 20s and 30s.
But that math eventually changes. Eventually we start to lose bone faster than we build it.
What determines when and how quickly this happens? Research has identified the following factors:
- Gender: women are twice as likely to suffer from osteoporosis as men.
- Age: women over 50 and men over 70 are most likely to be affected by osteoporosis.
- Body size: “big boned” people are less likely to suffer from bone loss than people with thin bone structure.
- Race: Caucasian and Asian women and men are at a higher risk for developing osteoporosis.
- Hormone loss: estrogen deficiency in post-menopausal women and testosterone deficiency in men as they age is linked to higher rates of osteoporosis.
- Diet: people whose diet is lacking in calcium and vitamin D have a higher incidence of bone loss.
Osteoporosis risk may also be genetic. If your parents (or grandparents) suffered from fractures due to osteoporosis, your risk is probably higher.
All of that being the case, are there any steps you can take to prevent or minimize your risk? Yes, there absolutely are.
Steps You Can Take to Avoid Osteoporosis
While your body’s ability to build bone mass may decrease after your 30s, there are several things you can do to limit osteoporosis risk.
- Get a bone density scan
- Incorporate weight-bearing exercise into your routine
- Eat a bone-healthy diet
- Take supplements for bone health
- Pay attention to your hormone health
- Avoid long-term stress
Bone loss is virtually symptom-free…until a fracture occurs. A bone scan can detect a reduction in bone mass before it reaches a critical point.
This can be as simple as walking regularly. Weight-bearing exercise can go a long way toward maintaining bone density.
Your body needs calcium and vitamin D to replace lost bone mass. Good dietary sources for calcium and vitamin D include dairy products, leafy green vegetables, and fish. Your skin also manufactures vitamin D from sunlight.
It can be difficult to get enough vitamin D and calcium from diet alone. And getting adequate sun exposure can be a struggle in today’s indoor world. Calcium and vitamin D supplements can be a good solution if you aren’t getting enough of these bone-strengthening nutrients from natural sources.
Estrogen and testosterone both work to preserve healthy bone mass. Unfortunately, women and men become deficient in these hormones with age. Bioidentical hormone therapy can restore healthy hormone levels, thereby preventing bone loss related to aging.
Cortisol is one of the hormones produced during the stress response. Chronic stress can cause an over-production of cortisol that can damage bones and lead to bone loss. Yoga, meditation, and regular exercise can help to reduce stress and its damaging effects on bone health.
At Renew Youth, we know that bone health significantly influences quality of life as people age. If you’re worried about bone loss, we’re here to help. To schedule your free consultation, call us today at 800-859-7511 or use our convenient contact form.