Can You Prevent Osteoporosis?

This is an interesting question and the answer is yes…and no. Osteoporosis is a disease that occurs when the body either makes too little bone, loses too much bone or both. The result is weak and brittle bones that are more likely to break. With nearly a quarter of the bones in your body residing in your feet, this disease is most definitely a concern for us at Paul Klein, DPM FACFAS. May is National Osteoporosis Month and it’s a good time to look at the risk factors for this disease with an eye to doing all that we can to build strong bones.

Risk Factors We Can’t Change

There are several factors that make a patient more prone to osteoporosis that are beyond our control. These include:

  • Age—osteoporosis is most likely to occur in people age 50 and older
  • Gender—women are twice as likely to get osteoporosis than men
  • Family history—your risk is increased if parents or other family members have osteoporosis

Risk Factors We Can Change

Fortunately, there are many lifestyle choices that we do have control over that can go a long way to strengthening bones and preventing osteoporosis. For example:

  • Increasing intake of calcium and vitamin D-- Vitamin D helps your body absorb bone-building calcium. Calcium supplements are available but it’s always best to get it through diet if possible. Dairy products, certain leafy greens and fortified cereals, milks and juices are all good sources of calcium (and sometimes vitamin D as well).
  • Don’t smoke--(it impedes circulation and weakens bones)
  • Exercising—weight-bearing activities (walking, hiking, dancing) increase bone strength; muscle-strengthening exercise (weight lifting, using exercise bands) help create stronger muscles to support the bones.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation—too much makes bones weak
  • Avoid crash dieting—diets that cause rapid weight loss by severely restricting food intake cause your body to rob minerals and vitamins from bones and may result in decreased bone mass as well. Slow and steady weight loss is healthy for your body and your bones.

If you want to learn more or discuss your individual risk factors for osteoporosis, make an appointment at our Wayne office for an evaluation by our podiatrist, Dr. Paul G. Klein by calling: 973-595-1555.