The Importance Of Bone Health

During an individual’s growth and development, the overall health and strength of the bone are crucial. Usually, a person reaches maximum bone mass by the age of 30. Maintaining strong bones requires a healthy diet and lifestyle and physical activity. If bone health is ignored, conditions such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis may develop later in life.

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Osteoporosis vs osteoarthritis

Both of these conditions affect the overall health of the bone but in a different ways. Osteoarthritis is an autoimmune condition that causes swelling, pain, and stiffness of the joints. Osteoporosis occurs due to a decrease in bone mass and density. The symptom of osteoporosis is usually silent and one may only know when a bone is fractured. Possible symptoms one may experience before diagnosis are severe back pain, hunched posture, and a decrease in height.

Factors affecting bone health

Several risk factors make a person prone to bone disorders. Some factors include a poor diet, older people, inactive people, low body mass index (BMI), substance abuse, and certain medications. Women are more prone to osteoporosis as compared to men. Hormonal changes and those with eating disorders are also at risk of affecting bone health.

1. Maintaining a healthy diet

One way to improve bone health is to have a healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables. In addition to a healthy diet, the two most important nutrients for bones are calcium and vitamin D. Ensure that these two nutrients are included in everyday diet. If required, take supplements but inquire from the healthcare professional before buying calcium and vitamin D supplements.

2. Incorporate daily physical activity

Besides calcium and vitamin D, being active keeps the bones strong and healthy and helps maintain a healthy weight. Physical activities such as walking, running, swimming, jogging, and aerobics keep the bones and muscles working harder. Try also to incorporate strength training exercises for better results. If one is diagnosed with osteoarthritis or osteoporosis, consult a doctor before initiating any type of exercise.

3. Alcohol intake and tobacco

Too much alcohol consumption and tobacco may impact bone mass and density. Smoking leads to fragile bones and therefore, one should avoid smoking. If necessary, join a smoking cessation program to help with quitting tobacco. Too much alcohol intake can exceed bone mass thus, one should take alcohol moderately.

Get an exam from your doctor

Women over 65 or with risk factor should consider asking about bone health. During the appointments with the doctor, inquire about all the information regarding any risk factors, medications, or tests. If one is taking any current medication, ask about the impact the medication may have on the bones. Inquire about doing a test to check for bone mineral density (BMD) test. A scan test known as dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) is used to check for bone loss. Ask about any medications or supplements can improve bone health.

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