How To Prevent Osteoporosis – Changing Your Lifestyle Will Help
How to prevent osteoporosis? Following are a few lifestyle habits that not only put our bones at risk but can threaten other aspects of our health.
Smoking has the effect of inactivating estrogen, leaving the smoker with what amounts to an estrogen deficiency. (Estrogen helps prevent osteoporosis by inhibiting the action of osteoclasts, the cells that break down and clear away old bone.) Weight loss associated with smoking also results in a loss of fat cells needed for estrogen production. This accelerated loss of estrogen can result in smokers entering andropause or menopause as much as five years earlier than non-smokers. A more sedentary life- also associated with smoking- further increases the risk of developing osteoporosis. How to prevent osteoporosis? The first step might to be stop smoking.
Research shows that a glass of dry red wine daily may be beneficial to bone health but there is no evidence that moderate drinking is beneficial to bone density.
Alcohol decreases calcium absorption and increases calcium losses through the urine in three ways:
- Alcohol elevates our Parathyroid hormone (PTH levels) causing a strain on our calcium reserves. Continuous elevation of PTH can cause hyperparathyroidism which further depletes the calcium stored in our bones.
- Alcohol also inhibits the conversion of vitamin D into its active form, thus interfering with the absorption of calcium from the intestines.
- Excessive alcohol also increases magnesium excretion in the urine, which in turn makes calcium absorption difficult and this alone is enough to cause accelerated bone-breakdown.
Since caffeine is a diuretic to the kidneys, it may increase the amount of calcium excreted in urine. It is fine in moderation but can have a negative effect on our bones when we overdo it. Limit your coffee consumption to two cups a day—that’s cups (5 ounces) not mugs (10 ounces) and make sure that your decaffeinated coffee is from a water based decaffination process rather than one using chemicals.
Sodium, as found in salt, is a mineral of great importance to overall health but North Americans consume far too much of it. Since 1977, the U.S. and Canadian governments have recommended limiting salt intake to 2,000 mg per day but our consumption averages over 8,000 mg per day.
This excess salt comes mostly from processed foods. One can of soup could have 3,000 mg of sodium; and one cup of canned tomato juice has as much as 500 mg of sodium chloride. A three piece fast food fried chicken dinner alone may contain 2,000 to 2,500 mg of sodium. Highly processed table salt causes the body to lose calcium unnecessarily through the urine.
Excess stress can cause an imbalance of stomach acid, which may impede the absorption of calcium and other nutrients. The source of unhealthy stress can often be linked to three main factors: our relationship to ourselves; our relationship to others; and our relationship to life itself.
How to prevent osteoporosis? In addition to treating osteoporosis through diet, exercise and supplements, it is useful to spend some time looking at how much joy and satisfaction we have in our lives.