While we treat osteoporosis in both men and women every day here at Texas Orthopedics, it does tend to be more prevalent in the latter…specifically women over the age of 60 years or those who have experienced menopause.
Unfortunately, by the time most women start to think about taking care of their bones, it is often too late and osteoporosis has already set in. Osteoporosis is when bone density is lost, leaving bones weak and brittle and susceptible to breaks and fractures.
So, what’s a girl to do? Bone loss is usually not too top-of-mind in your 20s and 30s, but doctors are now saying that perhaps it should be.
Here are five simple ways to add credit to your “bone bank” early on so that you are in good shape by the time your 60s roll around:
1. Stay active
Establishing a regular exercise routine in your 20s can strengthen your bones for years to come. Weight-bearing workouts and resistance training–think yoga, Pilates, and tai chi–are your best bet.
2. Eat right
You know the saying, “you are what you eat”? Well, get some calcium in you, girlfriend! Bones need calcium, and Vitamin D, to stay strong and healthy. Make sure you are getting at least three servings of calcium-rich foods per day, including dairy, and non-dairy sources such as kale, edamame, almonds, and oranges.
3. Keep your weight in check
Being underweight can definitely diminish bone strength, just as being overweight can. Find your healthy weight and stick to it. Fluctuating a few pounds here and there, especially at certain times of the month or around the holidays, is normal, but experiencing any drastic changes could be cause for concern.
4. Know your family history
This is true about any major medical condition, whether it be heart disease or cancer. If your mother or grandmothers had osteoporosis, there is a chance you will too. If it runs in your family, be proactive and discuss with your doctor when you should start getting regular bone density exams.
5. Watch your periods
There is strong evidence linking estrogen to bone density. So, if you have a hormone imbalance, and irregular menstrual cycles, it could be damaging to your bones. Track your cycle, and get checked out if you are missing your period altogether.
If you would like to schedule a bone density exam, or discuss your risk factors for osteoporosis with one of our physicians, please contact us here.