I can still remember my grandmother – how she smelled, her petite stature, how she never wore makeup, the special treats we’d get from her that my mom never allowed us. And, how she was always conscious about her bone health.
At nearly sixty years old, I understand a bit more. I found out that I was at risk 25 years ago, when the first signs showed up on my DEXA scan. I was told that I had low bone mineral density. Since that time, I’ve learned about how this affects me and how to keep it from getting any worse.
Who’s at risk?
- Being White or Asian – CHECK
- Small Frame – CHECK
- Being Thin – CHECK (until Menopause hit)
- Lactose Intolerant – CHECK
- Low Vitamin D Levels – CHECK (I am currently taking Vitamin D3 per doctor’s orders)
- Low Calcium Levels – CHECK
- Cigarette Smoking
- Abusing Alcohol or Drugs
With six out of the eight risk factors, I am doomed…
OR AM I?
Knowing that I’m already at risk, with some of the factors out of my control (while I wish that I were 5’10”, my growth spurt is OVER), there are still some things that I can do to help (and gaining weight is not ONE of them).
I’ve spoken with my doctor to discuss dietary supplements.
So, what can I do to reduce the risk? And what can you do, too?
Exercise – Weight bearing exercise can help your bone health. Any exercise needs you to work against gravity, such as weight training, tennis, dancing, jogging, hiking, or even climbing stairs or walking are good for your bones.
Eat a balanced diet – Crazy weight loss diets, while reducing your weight, can also keep you from getting the balanced nutrition to help your bones. Make certain to fill your plate with LOTS of colorful fruits and vegetables.
Take your supplements – Adequate calcium as part of a healthful diet, along with physical activity, may reduce the risk of osteoporosis in later life. Many of us don’t get enough Vitamin D and Calcium from our diet for the bone healthy benefits, especially as adults.** Adding these supplements to your healthy living program can help.
Talk to your doctor EARLY about what your risk factor is; as with all health problems, the earlier it’s detected the more you can do to reduce the risk.