Prevent osteoporosis with a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle
Preventing osteoporosis starts early. The stronger your bones are when you are young, the stronger they will be when you are older. Eating a balanced diet is the best way to ensure that you are getting the nutrients you need to keep your bones strong. Some important points in our prevention plan are…
Some sources of calcium include milk, cheese, yogurt, canned sardines, salmon (with bones), dark green vegetables, and calcium fortified breads and juices. You may also want to consider supplements if you cannot get an adequate amount of calcium through diet alone.
This vitamin helps the body absorb calcium, and adequate amounts can usually be obtained through 20 minutes of sun exposure per day, or by eating foods like eggs, salmon, fortified milk and cereal, or Vitamin D supplements.
Caffeine decreases calcium absorption, and excessive alcohol consumption has been shown to have a negative effect on bone health.
Regular exercise can help keep your muscles strong and prevent bone loss. Weight-bearing exercise should be done three to four times per week, and can include walking, running, aerobics, jumping rope, hiking, stair-climbing, and elliptical machines. Muscle-strengthening exercise should be done two to three times per week, and can help rebuild bone and increase density. This includes weight lifting and use of exercise bands.
Thai Chi is also good for preventing osteoporosis because it improves balance and prevents falls and the risk of breaking brittle bones. You may also want to consult your doctor or physical therapist about beginning Yoga or Pilates.
Daily calcium intake of 1,000-1,200 mg through low-fat dairy, dark green leafy vegetables, and soy products
For Vitamin D, get adequate sunlight and eat foods such as salmon, milk, and orange juice
Protein-rich foods like eggs, chicken, beans, nuts, and Greek yogurt
Avoid smoking and heavy alcohol consumption, which can decrease bone density
Exercise with a combination of strength training and weight-bearing exercises
Diagnosis and treatment at the Phelps Diabetes, Osteoporosis & Metabolism Center
Osteoporosis develops over many years, and symptoms may not be obvious. Possible signs of low bone density or osteoporosis can be a loss of height, stooped posture, pain in the spine, or fractures that seem to happen more easily than they should.
At Phelps, we host monthly education, nutrition, and exercise programs to help you keep your bones healthy or manage bone loss. You can join by coming to the Board Room on the second Thursday of every month, from 10:45 – 11:30 am.
Learn how we diagnose osteoporosis
If you are experiencing symptoms or think you may be at risk for osteoporosis, visit the Phelps Diabetes, Osteoporosis & Metabolism Center. We use a variety of methods to diagnose and treat bone loss and will give you the personalized treatment and support you need.
We use the following tools to diagnose osteoporosis or low bone density:
Medical and personal history – previous fractures, drinking and smoking habits, diet, physical activity, medication, or menopause
Physical exam – visual examination of the spine, changes in height measurement
Laboratory tests – blood calcium, thyroid function, hormone levels, biochemical marker tests
DEXA scan – a bone density test that uses low-level X-rays to measure mineral content in the bones; usually done on the hip and spine, and recommended for women over 64 and men over 69
FRAX® tool – used to evaluate fracture risk in the next ten years, using results of a DEXA scan in combination with assessment of other risk factors; useful for postmenopausal women, patients over 50, and people with low bone density
There are a variety of treatment options for the management of osteoporosis. While prevention is the best first line of defense, you can still slow bone loss by eating a bone-healthy diet, doing regular weight-bearing exercise and following our prevention guidelines.
Other osteoporosis treatment options include medication (antiresorptive medicines to slow bone loss), physical medicine evaluation (for posture), nutrition counseling, pain management, group education programs, and support groups.