Top 5 things you can do to prevent osteoporosis

By Vandita Samavedi, M.D
Internal Medicine at VMC Fairwood Primary Care

Woman rock climbingOver 50% of women and 25% of men develop osteoporosis which causes bones to become abnormally thin, weakened and easily broken. You can play a major role in avoiding osteoporosis through diet, exercise and stopping smoking.

  1. Calcium and vitamin D can prevent and treat thinning bones. The main dietary sources of calcium include milk, dairy products, such as cottage cheese, yogurt, or hard cheese, and green vegetables, such as spinach and broccoli. Milk is the primary source of dietary vitamin D, containing approximately 100 IU per cup.A total of at least 1000 mg of calcium per day is recommended for premenopausal women and men. Women after menopause should consume 1200 to1500 mg calcium per day. Experts also recommend 800 International Units (IU) of vitamin D each day.
  2. Exercise can help to prevent and treat thinning bones. Exercise should be done for at least 30 minutes three times per week. Any weight-bearing exercise like walking is appropriate.
  3. Stop smoking. Smoking cigarettes can cause bones to become thinner and weaker.
  4. Falling can cause fractures in the elderly. Preventing falls can lower the risk of fractures.
  5. Use of medications when appropriate and directed by your physician can prevent or slow the progress of osteoporosis.