Osteoporosis CAN be prevented
| Much of the damage from osteoporosis can be prevented with some simple changes to your lifestyle, and in some cases medication.
Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones become fragile and tend to break more easily. Over one half of all women will have a bone fracture at some time.
Who is at risk?
Osteoporosis is much more common in women, especially after the menopause, and the risk increases with age. It is more likely to occur if your mother had it.
The most reliable way of predicting if you will develop osteoporosis is to have a bone density test, a special x-ray which measures your bone strength. This test is often done around the time of the menopause.
How to prevent osteoporosis
Adequate calcium intake is important to keep your bones strong (see below). Try also to get regular exercise, stop smoking and avoid excessive alcohol.
Hormone replacement therapy is the most effective treatment to prevent thin bones. It is usually started at the menopause, but it is never too late to begin. A number of other medications, eg Fosamax and Rocaltrol, are also available.
Are you getting enough calcium in your diet?
Dairy foods are the richest source of calcium. Women of all ages should have 2 or preferably 3 servings daily, especially after the menopause. Typical serves are:
1 glass of milk (250 ml)
1 cube of cheese (35 grams)
1 tub (200 grams) of yogurt
Low fat dairy products are alternatives for weight watchers (but not cottage or ricotta cheese).
Other good sources are sardines and salmon (with bones) and soya milk. Consider a calcium supplement if you can’t get enough calcium from your diet.
Please note this information was correct at time of printing.
For up to date information, speak to your doctor.Source: Summer 1997 Edition | Page 3
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