Osteoporosis 200x200Every year, two million Americans suffer a bone fracture caused by osteoporosis, a thinning of bone mass. It’s estimated that more than 53 million people are at risk for a fracture because of low bone mass but only but only one in four seek treatment for the condition.

Post-menopausal women are at the highest risk for osteoporosis, but women of all ages should take steps to improve their bone health. The earlier you start, the better the chances of avoiding osteoporosis when you’re older. Here are some effective ways to reduce your risk.

Any kind of weight-bearing exercise, like walking, running, playing tennis, using resistance bands or lifting weights is important for good bone health. Balance training can also help prevent falls that are the number-one cause of bone fractures.

Most women under 50 need 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily and women over 50 need 1,200 milligrams of calcium that’s found naturally in milk, cheese, and yogurt; oily fish like sardines, canned salmon and tuna; almonds and dark green leafy vegetables. There are also many foods that are fortified with calcium including orange juice, some breakfast cereals, and daily supplements can provide more calcium.

You need vitamin D in order to absorb calcium and your body makes it with help from Mother Nature. About 15 minutes of exposure to the sun each day is enough for most people to create the vitamin D they need. If you get less sun each day, some foods are fortified with vitamin D and it’s also found in daily vitamin supplements.

Smoking is a risk factor for osteoporosis, and better bone health is another good reason to quit.

Consumption of alcohol can increase your risk for osteoporosis. Limiting your alcohol is important, especially if you have other risk factors for bone fracture.

Remember to talk to your healthcare provider about your individual needs for calcium and vitamin D and ask whether a bone density test is right for you.

Northline Women's Health Center Locations:

15675 Northline Road

Southgate, MI 48195

(734) 282-3600
(734) 282-3603 - Fax

23050 West Road, Suite 210

Brownstown Twp., MI 48183

(734) 362-7000
(734) 362-7077 - Fax