About 54 million Americans could easily break a bone due to poor bone health. Bone fractures can lead to surgeries with complications and reduced quality of life.
What are some practical ways to manage your bone health?
Keep reading to learn more about the importance of good bone health and how to keep your bones healthy.
What Is Osteoporosis?
Around 200 million people are suffering from osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a disease that causes your bones to become brittle and damaged easily. It can be very painful and there’s usually no sign of the disease until it’s well-developed.
Osteoporosis is more prominent in women, because of the lack of estrogen in the later years of their lives. But men can also be at risk, particularly after cancer treatment.
Why You Need Healthy Bones
Bones are the framework of our body. Without strong bones as our support, it’s challenging to move or do any kind of activity.
Our bones also store and deliver calcium to our bodies when we need it.
Bone Health and Cancer
Osteoporosis can also occur in cancer patients. This is due to the cancer treatments and cancer itself. Some cancers are more high-risk than others like breast cancer, so if you’re newly diagnosed, or concerned about your treatment or therapies, ask your doctor for more information.
Symptoms of Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a condition that occurs over time, usually without any warning. However, here some signs that might point to it.
Pain in the lower back and other areas of the body is a common symptom of osteoporosis. Pains in localized places are not unusual and may continue to worsen.
Over time, the weakening of your bones causes you to lose height. If you’ve seemed to shrink over a few years, it could be an indication of osteoporosis.
3. Fractures and Breaks
Because of the loss of bone density, this makes breaking and fracturing a regular occurrence. The most difficult part is that bones breaking comes with little to no injury.
While all of these are key signs of osteoporosis, it’s not an exhaustive list. There can be other underlying factors as well. If you seem concerned, talk to your doctor.
How to Keep Bones Healthy
Taking care of your bones now rather than later can have a significant effect later in life. The sooner you start paying attention to maintaining healthy bones, the better!
Here are some ways you can start today.
Believe it or not, exercising is one of the best things you can do for your bones. This is because exercising strengthens your bones and keeps them that way. Not exercising puts you at risk for developing osteoporosis.
If you’re new to exercising, find an activity you enjoy doing. Activities that you look forward to will keep you engaged, and you’ll be more likely to exercise.
Along with exercise, diet is also essential. What we eat has a direct impact on our physical health, in both a positive and negative way.
Foods that are high in calcium are perfect for bones because calcium strengthens bones. Try incorporating these foods into your diet:
- Dairy products
- Leafy greens
- Whole wheat bread
Vitamin D is also an essential nutrient to nourishing your bones. Start eating foods like eggs and fish, or take a supplement if you think you do not get enough vitamin D.
Don’t forget to check in with your doctor for your yearly check-up. Here at Augusta Oncology, we’re committed to keeping your bones healthy monitoring your bone health with our in-office bone density scan.
A bone density scan measures the strength of the bone by looking at the amount of calcium it contains. Usually the scan will focus on your hip or lower spine. This test is quick, non-invasive, and completely painless. This is a great way to determine if you’re at risk for osteoporosis and osteoporotic fractures.
4. Cut Destructive Habits
Alcohol and smoking are two habits that you will need to eliminate if you want to maintain healthy bones.
For one, consuming alcohol can produce frail bones. This is because alcohol can inhibit vitamin D production. Recovering alcoholics are especially at risk.
Smoking can be devastating to the health of your bones as well. For your bones to stay strong, they need fresh blood flow. Smoking can diminish blood flow to all parts of the body, making it difficult for the bones to stay durable.
Did you know that osteoporosis is a genetic condition? If someone in your immediate family suffers from osteoporosis, you’re likely to develop it as well. If you know this disease runs in your family, talk to your doctor about your options.
6. Review Your Medications
Do you take any medications regularly? If you do, you might be surprised that some of the side effects may interfere with your bone density. If this concerns you, talk to your doctor about switching your medications or what other options you have.
Can You Rebuild Bone Density?
The good news about osteoporosis is that it can be managed effectively with a variety of treatments and therapies that are tailored according to your condition. The most common treatments are estrogen, hormone injections, large doses of vitamin D, and other medications.
Not everyone will have the same severity of osteoporosis, so it’s important to consult your doctor about your care.
In short, rebuilding your bone density is possible and you can reverse osteoporosis with a proper treatment plan.
But without any treatments, you may be subjecting yourself to painful surgeries, discomfort, and frequent fractures, all of which have a higher deather rate.
This is why it’s so important to care for your bones now and avoid bigger problems in the future.
Bone Health: You Need It!
When it comes to how to keep your bones healthy, it takes hard work and dedication. But strong and stable bones are better to have than to lose!
Could you be at risk for osteoporosis or bone fractures? Schedule a bone density scan today! Contact us for more information.