Question: How can you help prevent osteoporosis?
Answer: By building strong, healthy bone tissue during your skeleton's formative years and by preventing excessive bone loss during midlife and beyond
Bone is a living tissue that continually remodels itself during life. Some bone cells absorb bone tissue, while others reform the bone's surfaces. Normally, these processes are well-balanced. A person's peak bone mass occurs at about age 35. After that, it begins to decline as the breakdown of bone and the development of bone tissue go out of balance.
One of the best ways to build up a healthy amount of bone mass before you turn 35 is to do weight-bearing activities, such as walking or running. Also eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of calcium. Calcium sources include milk and other dairy products; dark green, leafy vegetables like broccoli; canned sardines or salmon with bones.
After age 35, continue a calcium-rich diet and exercise regularly. If you are considering taking calcium supplements, make sure to check with your doctor first. This is especially important if you have a history of kidney disease or kidney stones.
Remember that without enough vitamin D, your body cannot absorb calcium and deposit it in your bones. Talk to your doctor about how much vitamin D you need. Taking too much can cause toxic side effects. Symptoms of vitamin D poisoning may include:
- Excessive urination
- High blood pressure
- Kidney stones
- Kidney damage
Created on 06/08/1999
Updated on 06/23/2010
- National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. Osteoporosis.
- The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. What is osteoporosis?
- National Osteoporosis Foundation. Accessed May 24, 2010.