Mayo Clinic Guide to Preventing & Treating Osteoporosis

July 23, 2014 at 12:04 pm

osteoOsteoporosis was once considered a normal part of aging. This disease causes bones to become weak, brittle and even prone to fracture from common activities, such as bending over, coughing, giving a hug, or twisting to look behind you. About 10 million Americans – 80 percent of them women – currently have osteoporosis and 18 million Americans are at high risk due to low bone density.

If you are female and over the age of 50, you have a fifty-fifty chance of breaking a hip during your remaining lifetime. About one-third of the people who break a hip ever return to being as active before the fracture. Nearly one-third permanently go to a nursing home. Osteoporosis is a silent disease. Often the first and only sign of the condition is a bone fracture.

Mayo Clinic Guide to Preventing and Treating Osteoporosis offers hope that bone loss from osteoporosis can often be avoided or effectively managed.  Osteoporosis is no longer an unfortunate result of growing old. This book’s take-charge approach gives detailed guidance on successfully managing the disease.

This comprehensive resource provides updated information on assessing bone fracture risk, the role of bone density measurements, diet, exercise, supplements, and medications. Reduce your risk of falling by understanding the importance of balance, coordination, good posture, and fitness by following expert advice on how to improve these factors. Information on the latest advances helps you evaluate treatment options.

Mayo Clinic Guide to Preventing and Treating Osteoporosis provides the keys to building a strong skeleton when you are young and slowing the rate of bone loss as you age.  Even with osteoporosis, you can use good nutrition, exercise and medications to slow and even reverse its progression.

Learn about the life cycle of the bone, including key bone builders such as calcium, phosphate and magnesium. Bone remodeling, or turnover, repairs damage and ensures enough minerals circulate in the bloodstream to carry out many bodily functions. Remodeling is a response to physical activity. Your skeleton adapts to carrying heavier loads and greater stress by forming new bone. Knowledge of the remodeling cycle can help you understand the changes in bone health and structure as you age, including hormonal influences.

Discover the factors that increase the risk of fractures including changes associated with age such as loss of muscle mass, problems with balance, poor vision, chronic medical conditions, reaction to medications, and environmental hazards. Certain disorders, such as hyperthyroidism, Type 1 diabetes, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and chronic kidney diseases are also associated with osteoporosis.

Mayo Clinic Guide to Preventing and Treating Osteoporosis helps you understand how to assess and reduce your risk through screening and diagnosis, reviewing risk factors that can be influenced and how to develop an action plan.

You can develop healthy living strategies, by beginning with good posture, practice safety tips for common daily tasks, and taking steps to prevent falls, and use of assistive devices such as gait aids, reachers, grab bars, and shower chairs.  Be proactive in self-care by consuming adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D. Foods rich in calcium include broccoli, salmon, spinach, and fortified juices and cereals. Sunlight offers a major source of vitamin D. Typically, 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure – without sunscreen – twice a week will help you maintain optimum levels of vitamin D. Supplements may be needed during winter months.

Three types of exercise are recommended: back-strengthening, weight-bearing, and resistance training. Weight-bearing exercises are done on your feet with the bones of your lower body supporting your own weight. Walking is considered a safe, simple, and ideal exercise. A walking program should be done at least every other day to build both flexibility and endurance.

Methods for boosting your emotional health begin with controlling stress, organizing your day, creating a plan before you act, and developing coping strategies to help reduce anxiety and boost self-esteem.  With more education, the less threatening osteoporosis will seem. Minimize your risk by learning how to move safely and exercise effectively.

The strategies in Mayo Clinic Guide to Preventing and Treating Osteoporosis, along with guidance from your personal physician, combined with the support of family and friends, can offer you the best opportunity to prevent future bone loss or treat osteoporosis, and continue to enjoy an active, independent life.

Debbie Fuehrer,  L.P.C.C.
Complementary & Integrative Medicine Program

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