In the UK, 1 in 2 women and 1 in 4 men over the age of 50 are estimated to suffer from osteoporosis. The good news, however, is that osteoporosis is both treatable and preventable. Prevention starts with you, and there are small lifestyle changes you can make to reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis. Expert rheumatologist Dr Taher Mahmud gives us five simple tips on how we can help in the fight against osteoporosis and bone weakness.
- In order to promote bone growth and keep your bones healthy, it is important to get enough calcium, vitamin D and other nutrients. If you are lactose intolerant, it may be difficult to get enough calcium from food alone. Try eat more leafy greens such as kale or cabbage, or snack on nuts like almonds as a healthy top-up throughout the day.
- Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, which does not just benefit your bone health, but your health overall.
- Bones can be made stronger through exercise, so at least two and a half hours a week is recommended for their strength.
- Smoking is connected to bone health - cigarettes contribute to bone loss, and smoking can reduce levels of calcium absorption. If you need support or help to give up smoking, ask your healthcare provider or GP. Excess alcohol consumption can also reduce levels of calcium absorption.
- In order to check your bone density and overall bone health, tests can be made, meaning you can have an idea of your situation and if you need to take action. Ask your healthcare provider when you can take a bone density test.