We've all grown up hearing, reading, and learning about the importance of building strong bones during childhood and adolescence, but we rarely hear about protecting those bones into adulthood. Your bones provide structure, protect your organs, and anchor your muscles while storing calcium in your body. Here's what you need to know to protect them:
Your Bones Are Constantly Changing
Your bones are highly active tissues that are constantly rebuilding and remodeling themselves. This process slows down around the age of 30 for most. Which typically leads to you losing more bone than you rebuild (osteoporosis is caused by rapid bone loss.) The higher your bone mass by the time you're 30, and the speed at which your bone rebuilds after that, will affect the likelihood of developing osteoporosis as you age.
What Affects Your Bone Health?
- Gender: Women are at a greater risk of osteoporosis because women start out with less bone tissue than men
- Genetics: If a parent or sibling has osteoporosis, you are at a greater risk of having it as well
- Age: As you age your bones become thinner and weaker and regenerate at a slower pace
- Size: If your body mass index is less than 19 (or you have a small frame) you might have less bone mass to draw from as you age.
- Hormone Levels: For women, bone loss increases at menopause due to dropping estrogen levels. For men, low testosterone levels can cause a loss of bone mass.
- Diet: A low calcium diet can contribute to diminished bone density, early bone loss, and an increased risk of fractures.
- Activity Levels: People who are inactive are at a higher risk of osteoporosis than their more-active counterparts.
- Habits: Tobacco use is shown to lead to weakened bones. Similarly, having more than two alcoholic beverages a day can affect your body's ability to absorb calcium.
- Eating disorders and other health conditions. People who struggle with anorexia or bulimia are at an increased risk of bone loss. In addition, stomach surgery (gastrectomy), weight-loss surgery and conditions such as Crohn's disease, celiac disease and Cushing's disease can affect your body's ability to absorb calcium.
- Medications. Long-term use of corticosteroid medications, such as prednisone, cortisone, prednisolone and dexamethasone, are damaging to bone. Other drugs that might increase the risk of osteoporosis include aromatase inhibitors to treat breast cancer, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, methotrexate, some anti-seizure medications, such as phenytoin (Dilantin) and phenobarbital, and proton pump inhibitors.
How Can You Keep Your Bones Healthy?
The best way to keep your bones strong is to give them proper nourishment with a calcium rich diet. Adults ages 19-50 should have 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium per day. For women 50+ and men 70+ that recommendation goes up to 1,200 Mg per day. Dairy products, almonds, broccoli, kale, sardines, and soy products such as tofu are great sources of calcium.
For even better bone health, try chiropractic
Chiropractic adjustments keep your nervous system functioning at it's best. This increases your chances of proper bone remodeling. Give us a call today at 718-222-9700 to schedule your appointment.