How to improve bone health in women?
Building strong bones is very important, particularly for women, who have increased risk of osteoporosis and bone thinning with increasing age. Through childhood and adulthood, the bones are mineralized with calcium and this calcium incorporates into the bones. At age 30, this bone mass reaches its peak. Thereafter, there is no more mineralization of the bones and in fact, bones lose calcium annually. Healthcare professionals like Best General Physician in Lahore recommend improving bone health through dietary and lifestyle changes, some of which are mentioned below:
Increase the intake of calcium and vitamin D
Intake of calcium maintains the bone mass, keeping the bone density optimal, and preventing bone thinning. Because bones cells are always breaking and building, they need calcium every day for strength and structure. The intake of calcium according to the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) is 1000 mg per day for women up to age 50, and men up to age 70. The RDA increases to 1200 mg in women over the age of 50 and men over 70 years. Interestingly, calcium is absorbed more in the body if taken as food, rather than as supplements.
Vitamin D is needed in the diet to enhance calcium absorption. The aim should be to consume 600 to 800 international units (IUs) of vitamin D daily. A serum level of 30 ng/ml of vitamin D protects the bones from osteopenia and poor bone health. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and is found in green leafy vegetables. Having a salad with olive oil dressing is one of the best ways to consume vitamin D and other healthy minerals.
Cigarette smoke is packed with oxidants that damage bones and increase the loss of bone density. Losing bone density makes the bones brittle and increase the odds of bone breakage upon minor trauma. Therefore, for the bone health, it’s important to quit smoking.
Maintain a healthy weight
Reduced bone density and bone mass is common in under-weight women, especially those with body mass index (BMI) of 19 and under. While overweight women have higher chances of fractures and poor bone health. Maintaining optimal weight-for-height is, therefore, important for bone health.
Studies suggest that people who lose or gain a lot of weight in a small period of time experience irreversible bone loss. Thus, its best to maintain the weight at an optimal level for protection of bone health.
Weight bearing exercises
An important part of bone health is staying active, and including weight-bearing and resistance exercises in the workout regimen. Weight bearing exercises, such as aerobics, walking, yoga, and resistance training such as weight lifting, help to improve bone mass and mineralization of calcium into bones. Such activities help to build stronger bones and slow down the process of bone loss.
Research shows that women with a sedentary lifestyle, with no physical activity, have higher chances of osteoporosis and bone thinning.
For women who are concerned about their bone health, it is important to seek an opinion from an expert, such as Best General Physician in Islamabad. He or she can then guide one about obtaining a bone density scan and evaluating the risk of bone thinning and whether or not supplements and medication are needed to deal with it.