Monday, November 3, 2008
About 10 million people currently suffer from osteoporosis… 80% are women. Another 34 million have low bone mass, which can lead to the disease. Among women age 50 and older, 20 percent of Caucasian and Asian descent have osteoporosis. Only about 5 percent of black women and 10 percent of Hispanic women are affected. The disease seems to effect small boned women most often.
Other risk factors include:
• People who have had a fracture
• Those with vitamin D deficiencies
• Women in early menopause
• Women with a history of irregular or missed menstrual cycles
• Gastrointestinal disease
• Thyroid conditions
To keep bones strong and to help improve bone density, the National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends:
• Take 1,200 milligrams of calcium a day for people older than 50; about 1,000 milligrams for those younger. Calcium is found in dairy foods and from some green vegetables and is added to a lot of foods and drinks, including orange juice.
• Take 800 to 1,000 International Units of vitamin D3 daily (the form of the vitamin that best supports bone health)
• Do some form of weight bearing exercise every day. This includes strength yoga, walking, running or weight lifting.
• Do not smoke.
Osteoporosis, is caused by the loss of calcium from the matrix of bone cells. It is a natural process that is sped up in women by the onset of a menopause, when the body stops producing estrogen.
Women lose 4 percent to 5 percent of bone mass per year in the first five to seven years of menopause, so this is when it is extra important to follow the recommendations above. The disease is very silent, yet preventable. So ladies don’t feel guilty about those daily lattes because they are doing your bones good.
Photo by Laura