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The Silent Disease… Prevention and You

1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men over the age of 50 will break a bone as a result of Osteoporosis

Previously we discussed what Osteoporosis (often called the ‘silent disease’) is, whether it might affect you and what you can do to maintain the strength of your bones.

Recap

Building strong bones during childhood and adolescence can be the best defence against developing Osteoporosis later in life.  However, if you are aged mid-thirties and older it’s absolutely vital to maintain the strength of your bones.

These 4 steps can help to keep your bones as healthy as possible thereby reducing the risk of Osteoporosis:

1.Weight-Bearing Exercises

Exercise is important at every stage of our lives.  It strengthens our muscles and our bones thereby reducing the risk of a fragility fracture. Whether you have Osteoporosis or not engaging in suitable exercise will help you reduce the risk of breaking a bone.  How?  Bone is a living tissue that reacts to increases in loads and forces put upon it by growing stronger.  Any increase in ‘loading’ above normal levels has the best chance of increasing bone strength which is why we suggest performing regular weight-bearing exercises – exercise in which you are supporting your own body weight through your feet and legs (or hands and arms).  Examples of weight-bearing exercises are:

  • Walking
  • Running
  • Skipping
  • Climbing up and down the stairs
  • Bodybuilding and lifting weights

2. A Healthy Lifestyle

Smoking, excessive alcohol, salt and coffee intakes can all cause damage to your body including your bones.  Live a healthy lifestyle and ‘love your bones’!  Exercise regularly, eat a good balanced diet, avoid stress and rest when you need to and don’t skip breakfast.  It really is the most important meal of the day.

3. Test Your Bone-Density

A bone-density test is the only test that can diagnose Osteoporosis before a broken bone occurs. The test uses a machine to measure your bone-density.  Your test result will help your healthcare provider make recommendations to help you protect your bones including, where necessary, appropriate medication.

4. Maintain a Balanced Diet

A mixed, well-balanced diet is important for all of us and should include a wide variety of foods from the four main food groups.  A mixed, well-balanced diet will provide you and your body with all the vitamins and minerals you need including Calcium. Calcium is vital for teeth and bones because it gives them strength and rigidity.

How Much Calcium Is Recommended?

Age Reference nutrient intake (RNI)
0–12 months (non-breastfed infants only) 525mg
1–3 years 350mg
4-6 years 450mg
7-10 years 550mg
11-18 years boys/girls 1,000 / 800mg
19+ years 700mg
 Pregnant Women 700mg
Breastfeeding women 700mg +550mg
 


Please Note: If you are taking Osteoporosis drug treatment you may benefit from a higher daily Calcium intake of around 1,000mg a day. Please check with your healthcare provider.

If you’re struggling to maintain a balanced diet rich in Calcium and Vitamin D then you may want to consider taking a Calcium supplement.  ellactiva® make a tasty Caramel Calcium Chew with each chew containing 500mg of Calcium but which lack the chalky aftertaste so often associated with Calcium supplements.  

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