Your mom’s bones and joints need to be protected through every stage of her life. The joints are kind of like hinges that provide the limbs with the ability to move. Bones and joints working together form the foundation of the body’s mobility.
Osteoporosis has struck over 10 million Americans. It’s a condition that happens as a result of loss of bone density. The problem is many people don’t even know they have it…yet. The stooped-over posture that everyone dreads is a hallmark of fragility.
Women are more prone to developing osteoporosis than men are, with the numbers being 4 times as many women as men being affected. It’s normal for some bone density to decrease with age, but significant bone density loss is associated with high risks for bone fractures.
Some risk factors for osteoporosis aren’t under your control, but others are. If caught in the early stages, it can be prevented and even reversed. The uncontrollable factors are low body weight, being Asian or white, and early menopause. The factors you can control are your diet and your amount of activity.
Here’s what your mom needs to do to lower her risk of developing osteoporosis:
- Get adequate calcium in her diet. It’s recommended she take 1,200 mg from foods and/or supplementation.
- Take in enough vitamin D. Foods with high amounts include fortified milk and fatty fish; egg yolks or fish liver oil capsules. She should have 800-1000 IU each day. Check with a doctor before taking vitamin D supplements.
- Vitamin A. plays a role in bone formation as well as good vision.
- Vitamin K. Mainly found in leafy green vegetables, it has an important role in bone formation and calcium regulation. When women take 110 micrograms or more per day, they are 30 percent less likely to break a hip.
- Magnesium is essential. Half of all your body’s magnesium is in the bones. This mineral is crucial to keeping your skeleton in tip top shape. It can be found in dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds, beans and peas, halibut and whole grains.
- Quit smoking – it doubles the risk of fractures due to osteoporosis.
- Be active – increased belly fat has been linked with decreased bone density.
- Limit alcohol intake – more than 1 or 2 drinks per day increases bone loss and the risk of a fall.
- Weight training can help to build up the body strength and lessen the risk of falling. There is a link between weight training and increased bone density.