As you age, your bones age as well, causing them to become both thinner and weaker. As you and your bones grow older, your risk of developing osteoporosis increases. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, osteoporosis is “a medical condition in which the bones become brittle and fragile from loss of tissue, typically as a result of hormonal changes, or deficiency of calcium or vitamin D.” Bone thinning is a natural process of aging; however, living a healthy, active lifestyle can help strengthen your bones and prevent osteoporosis.
- Exercise. Exercising not only strengthens your muscles, but strengthens your bones as well. Jogging, running, climbing the stairs, aerobics, yoga and dancing are all physical exercises that encourage your body to produce new bone. Regular exercise also increases your flexibility, which decreases your chances of falling and breaking a bone.
- Eat a nutritious diet. Calcium and Vitamin D are essential to building bone. When your body does not intake enough calcium, it will begin to break down your bones to get the calcium it needs. When your body does this, your bone mass decreases significantly, making your bones brittle and weak, making them easier to break. To increase your body’s calcium intake, try adding these items to your diet: low-fat dairy products, cereal, soy milk, tofu, salmon, kale and broccoli.Vitamin D is essential in helping the body absorb and use the calcium you eat; in fact, the body cannot absorb calcium at all without some vitamin D. Including these food and drinks in your diet will help promote calcium absorption: salmon, tuna, eggs, cheese, milk, orange juice and cereal. Your body also produces Vitamin D when your skin is exposed to natural sunlight; however, too much sunlight exposure can prematurely age your skin and increase your risk of skin cancer.
A balanced diet and proper exercise are not the only ways to prevent osteoporosis. It is also very important to not smoke, to avoid secondhand smoke, to not drink too much alcohol and to drink less soda.
At Maryville Imaging, we offer Duel Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) Bone Densitometry testing, also known as bone density testing, which measures the amount of calcium in a person’s bones and determines if osteoporosis is present. Women who have entered menopause and suspect menopause bone loss and men who suspect they have low bone density should schedule an appointment for our bone density test procedure. If you are a woman over 65 years old, it is especially important for you to have your bone density tested every two to three years to detect if osteoporosis is present.
Bone density testing is the only procedure that can diagnose osteoporosis before a broken bone occurs. Protect your bones; call us today at 618-288-4929 to schedule your bone density test. Your examination will take nearly 30 minutes, but your bones will thank you for a lifetime.