As women of the baby boom generation reach menopausal
age, their risk of having weakened bones due to Osteoporosis goes up.
Osteoporosis is a skeletal disease that decreases bone mass and affects
over 10 million Americans. The disease strikes mostly older women and the
two main contributing factors to the disease are estrogen deficiency and
aging. But it doesnít have
to be accepted as part of the aging process anymore. New research shows
the critical time of life for a woman to build a healthy skeleton is in
her teens and 20ís. In addition, with proper treatment, hazardous bone
deterioration caused by Osteoporosis can be slowed down or even reversed
in some women.
Skeletons could be made stronger and the risk of bone
fractures can be lowered, according to the National Institute of Arthritis
and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases in Bethesda, MD, by following these
seven bone-preserving tips.
informed about the growth cycle of bones. From childhood through
before age 30, our bones build in mass. The process then begins to
slow down around menopause and the rate of bone loss speeds up. So, it
is best to build up your skeleton early in life.
bone density with calcium. Most women in America donít get enough
calcium in their diet. The recommended dietary allowance is 1,000
milligrams for women aged 19 to 50. Foods rich in calcium are most
citrus fruits like oranges and dairy products like cheese.
a little sun. By getting just a little sun, the skin produces vitamin
D, which helps the body soak up calcium. Just remember that too much
exposure to sunlight isnít good for the skin. For people living in a
cold climate with little sunlight, they can eat foods such as liver
and salmon that contain vitamin D.
for stronger bones. Regular exercise like jogging or weight lifting,
will dramatically improve bone mass. It is beneficial to push yourself
beyond your normal exercise regimen because bones grow accustomed to
the same level of activity but donít push too hard or a stress
fracture can occur.
be under a normal body weight. Certain studies indicate that thinner
women have an increased chance of hip and other bone fractures. Also,
thin women may have diets lower in dairy products, which contain
calcium and insufficient amounts can lead to fragile bones.
a heel measurement. Bone-scanning devices like the peripheral
instantaneous X-ray imager, measure bone mass using low-dose radiation
to measure bone density. According to David J. Satoris, MD, director
of bone densitometry at the University of California at San Diego
School of Medicine, women should receive a baseline scan as early as
age 21 and all women over age 65 should be tested.
your hormones a boost. Estrogen therapy has been widely used to treat
osteoporosis after menopause. There is however, a link to cancer from
estrogen use. Calcitonin therapy is another common option but it is
either injected or inhaled which isnít appealing to some women, but
Although there is nothing a woman can do to relive
her 20ís and take measures to build stronger bones, most of the other
options are achievable and can dramatically improve a womanís chance of
avoiding bone fragility.
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