The word osteoporosis literally translates to mean ‘bones with holes’ and the condition of osteoporosis is caused when the bones in your body loses vital minerals (like calcium) faster than the body can replace them. To break it down easily, if you’re using more calcium in your body than you’re taking in, then you’ll be at risk of osteoporosis. Many people who have osteoporosis simply don’t realise that they’re at risk of this disease until it’s too late. An indicator of osteoporosis is a bone fracture, which can happen in older age due to a decrease in bone density and a higher level of brittleness.
Osteoporosis is sometimes called the ‘silent disease’ as you don’t know you’ve got it until it’s too late and you have a fracture!
For anyone who is beginning to reach an older age, it’s vital that you’re eating a diet rich in calcium, that you’re supplementing your diet with osteoporosis supplements made from algae, and that you’re being smart about your exercise and lifestyle. Formulating an action plan for managing osteoporosis is going to be a big part of aging, so it’s important that you get ready for it before it’s too late.
Osteoporosis affects more women than men – although plenty of men are still affected, so it’s important that you’re ready to battle this bone disease regardless of your sex.
Currently, the most reliable way that we have to diagnose osteoporosis is to measure the density of our bones using a dual-energy absorptiometry scan (or a DXA). This is a short and painless scan that measures the density of your bones. If you are female and over 50, or male and over 70, it is important that you consider your bone health as part of your life.
Formulating an action plan for fighting osteoporosis
You can work to improve your bone health from a young age, and in fact you should be taking all the steps possible to do so from an early age. Here are some simple steps to follow:
- Eat foods that are rich in calcium and also in Vitamin D, as both elements are required to be present in order to achieve good bone health
- Avoid smoking and drinking too much as this can interfere with your overall health – which then in turn has a knock-on effect for your body’s bone health
- Limit your caffeine intake. Studies have shown that an excess intake of caffeine can actually interfere with your bone health – so make sure that you’re monitoring your intake
- Do regular exercises that include weight bearing and strength training. Your bones need to be worked just like any other part of your body to ensure that you’re going to optimise your health
Making sure that your meals are balanced and calcium rich
Part of the battle against poor bone strength and health is trying to make sure that you’re taking in plenty of calcium from a variety of sources. This is a vital part of building and maintaining strong and healthy bones. If you aren’t getting enough calcium in your diet, you are going to see problems for yourself later in life. It is recommended that the average adult consumes 1,000 mg of calcium per day, and for post-menopausal women and men over the age of 70, it’s recommended that you take in 1,300 mg of calcium per day. Kids also need to reach a figure of around 1,300 mg per day, and it’s up to every one of us to ensure that we’re eating a diverse diet with calcium rich foods in abundance.
Dairy foods contain the highest levels of calcium, but there are rich sources of calcium in other foods, including fortified non-dairy milks, leafy greens, spinach and almonds. You need to get enough calcium every day, and if you can’t, you should consider a calcium supplement.