What is Osteoporosis?
Lack of calcium in the bones make them more porous and liable to fracture easily . There are often no symptoms until fracture occurs though some signs may be severe back pain, shrinking height, mild but regular bone pain, fractures.Up to 40% of women may suffer by the age of 80.
What are the Risk Factors
- Lack of regular weight bearing exercise
- Very low body weight(small,thin body frame)
- Race and Ethnicity(more common in African Caribbean origin)
- Gender (more common in women)
- Reduced levels of Hormones (oestrogen and testosterone)
- Other diseases(hyperthyroidism, Rheumatoid arthritis, Crohns)
- Medication (long-term corticosteroids, some anti-cancer drugs)
- Too much coffee (> 8cups daily), fizzy drinks and alcohol (>3units a day)
- Excessive salt and protein intake.
- Lack of calcium and Vitamin D in diet or malabsorption of these vitamins
Your Lifestyle Prescription for Bone health:
It is best to build bone strength before the age of 35 with Weight bearing exercise and diet. However it is never too late to start.
Try and do one of these 4-5 times a week and weight training at least 2 times a week:
- Walk or Jog
- Stair climbing
- Tai chi or similar movements
- Aerobic or Dance classes
- Weight training using dumbbells or resistance bands, or household objects and bodyweight.
Eat food rich in PHYTOESTOGENS like the Japanese who have very low levels of Osteporosis
- Soya products
- Chick peas
- Lentils and Mung beans
- Apples, plums and cherries
- Peppers, yams, tomatoes, olives, carrots, fennel, aubergine, potato
Increase these nutrients used to make healthy bones:
- Calcium: dairy products, dark green leafy veg (calcium is harder to absorb from spinach and rhubarb), seeds, beans, sardines
- Phosphorous:Bran,seeds,Brazil nut,pine nuts,cheese. But also found in most processed foods and too much of it actually can cause calcium to leach out of bones…so avoid the procced foods
- Magnesium: Leafy veg, cauliflower, seeds, nuts, pulses, dairy products
- Vitamin D: Sunshine (15-20 min arm and face exposure 3-4 times a week in summer),Oily fish, fortified cereals, wholegrain
- Zinc: Wholegrains, meat, pumkin seeds, liver,Brazil and pecan nuts, shellfish , oysters
- Vitamin C: berries, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, leafy veg, citrus fruit.
- Vitamin K: Green leafy veg, broccoli, cauliflower, soya beans
- Copper: Nuts, seeds, mushrooms, fruit, crab
- Manganese: Leafy veg, nuts, seeds, meat, pulses, wholegrains
- Silicon: barley, oats,rice
- Boron: nuts, dairy, apples, pears,grapes, green leafy veg
Avoid these as they often cause calcium to be drawn out of the bones and lost through urine :
- High Protein diets (healthy diets are 15-20% protein)
- Fizzy drinks
- Excessive alcohol
- Excessive salt
- Excessive caffeine
To make sure you get all these nutrients, it is clear that a healthy varied diet is essential. A little time planning in meals and shopping lists goes a long way. And again, as with many diseases, regular,moderate, consistent exercise will prevent, delay and improve the condition. Obviously if you have severe Osteoporosis talk to your doctor/chiroparactor/physiotherapist about which exercises are safe for you.
Nuff’talk…Grab a veggie salad and go for a walk!