Women are especially at risk of developing this condition, which can cause back pain, stooped posture, and loss of height.
What you probably never realized was that your bones are constantly living and growing along with you. As you grow older, old bone mass is removed and your body repaced it with new bone mass, according to NIH (National Institutes of Health). But with age, your body can't form new bone as fast as it used to. Women especially face this issue through the years of menopause, and this can lead to osteoporosis.
Over time, osteoporosis can lead to back pain and you might easily fracture your bones. You might also notice that you are developing a stooped posture and you're losing a bit of your height as it progresses, according to Mayo Clinic. This condition tends to weaken your bones from within.
Sometimes, osteoporosis may silently take over your body without you realizing it until suddenly your bones break at the slightest strain or a sudden fall. If you tend to have the following habits, it's likely that your risk of developing osteoporosis increases.
If you tend to have a sedentary lifestyle or don't get enough physical activity on a regular basis, it could increase your risk of developing osteoporosis. Make sure that you're not spending most of your day sitting. Walking is one of the easiest ways to incorporate more activity in your everyday life. Including enough time walking, jumping, running, dancing, or even weightlifting to keep your balance and posture intact.
In the process of getting into a good shape, it's important that you don't end up losing more weight than you need to. “As with exercise, the bones need to be adequately loaded in order to stimulate them enough to respond to the load and generate more biomechanically ‘good’ bone,” said Dr. Jonathan Lee, according to Reader's Digest. “Body mass index less than 19 is considered a risk factor for osteoporosis.” You can seek professional help to know what your ideal amount of BMI is, and what's the best way to attain and maintain it.
At the end of a long day, your ideal way of unwinding may be with a glass of wine. However, if you tend to consume more alcohol than what is recommended, this can increase your risk of osteoporosis as well. If you tend to drink more than two drinks of alcohol regularly, your chances of developing the medical condition increases.
If you tend to consume excessive amounts of meat on a regular basis, this could be harmful to your body. While it is definitely a good source of protein, eating too much meat can also affect the level of calcium in your body. “High-protein diets can cause the kidneys to excrete more calcium,” said Dr. Lee. “Since calcium is one of the primary building blocks of bone, this calcium loss can contribute to decreased bone mineral density." Although some studies say that protein helps in more calcium absorption and the excess is thrown away, it was recommended to have moderate amounts of meat.
Calcium is extremely important for the health and strength of your bones. However, your body also needs enough vitamin D to effectively absorb calcium that you intake. And a healthy amount of sunlight is a great source for vitamin D. “Vitamin D is required for the body to successfully absorb and use calcium, one of the fundamental building blocks of bone,” said Dr. Lee. It is recommended that men and women under 50 years of age should get 400-800 international units of vitamin D every day, whereas individuals above the age of 50 must get 800-1,000 IU daily.
Drinks like cola and coffee are believed to reduce bone density in women, eventually leading to osteoporosis, according to Cleveland Clinic. It was explained that this could be because the phosphoric acid in drinks like cola can pull out the calcium in your bones. Caffeine from coffee could also have a similar effect. Another reason could be that you're substituting calcium-rich drinks with beverages such as these. Rheumatologist Johnny Su, mentioned that they can be taken in moderate amounts but also said, "...if you can cut these beverages out altogether, that’s even better.”
The findings of a study in Oxford's JCEM (The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism) found that postmenopausal women who slept for 7–8 h/d, 9–10 h/d, and 10 h/d or longer and also spend time taking naps during the day had higher risk of osteoporosis. In addition to this, it was found that postmenopausal women who experienced poor sleep quality and also took naps during the day for more than an hour had double the risk of experiencing osteoporosis as compared to women who didn't take naps.
When you sprinkle or add too much salt to your food, it can raise your risk of osteoporosis. “High salt intake increases blood pressure,” said Dr. Lee. “As the kidneys work to excrete the sodium, calcium is also removed from the bloodstream.” Reducing the level of salt in your diet can keep your blood pressure levels in check and also reduce the risk of osteoporosis and other diseases.
Rather than having a diet that's rich in processed food, switch to a healthier diet that's also giving you the required amount of calcium that you need. Find out whether your body needs more calcium and the symptoms of calcium deficiency.