The health of our bones is a vital requirement for an optimum health. Our bones play many important functions. From out head to toe, bones provide the structure which supports the body to stay upright and rigid. Bones protect many vital organs. Bones anchors our muscles and serves as storage for calcium.
Why healthy bone important?
Bones are constantly being broken down and rebuilt in a tiny amount. Before reaching 30, your body create bone faster. But after 30, how your body create bones changes and you lost more bones. When you lose more bones, your bones will become weak. It will break easily without any obvious injury. When this happens, your chances of having a bone-related disorder are high.
Factors that affect bone health
There are a lot of factors that may affect your bone health. These are:
- Depletion of necessary nutrients and mineral such as calcium. A diet that is low in calcium can lead to low bone density. High calcium foods like milk and cheese help raise peak bone mass. Vitamin D is also important. It helps the bone absorb the calcium.
- Exercise helps keep the bone strong. Bones get stronger in response to exercise.
- Age is another factor. As you age, your bone becomes thinner and weaker.
- A hormonal level can cause bone loss such as too much thyroid hormone. Low estrogen in women during the menopausal period can increase bone loss.
- Alcohol drinking and cigarette smoking can contribute to weaker bones based on research. Excess alcohol in the body can interfere with how your body absorb calcium.
- Gender is another factor. Women are at higher risk of osteoporosis because they have less bone tissue than men.
- Your risk of having osteoporosis is higher if your parents have osteoporosis.
- Certain medications such as the long-term use of corticosteroids are damaging to the bones. Other drugs that can increase your risk of bone loss are aromatase inhibitor and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor.
- Eating disorders like those who have bulimia or anorexia are at risk of bone loss.
Ways to keep the bones healthy
There are ways to prevent or slow bone loss. These include:
- Make healthy food choices. Choose calcium-rich foods like milk, cheese and yogurt. You can also get calcium from non-dairy foods like tuna, white beans and tofu. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) is 1,000 mg of calcium a day for adults ages 19-70. For women, the RDA is 1,200 mg a day after age 50 and after age 70 for men. If you’re not getting the recommended amount of calcium you may take calcium supplements.
- Get enough vitamin D to keep the bones strong. Vitamin D helps absorb calcium. Good sources include egg yolk, yogurt and fatty fish like salmon and sardines.
- Maintain a healthy body weight. Being too light or too heavy are risk factors for osteoporosis. Along with healthy comes exercise. Exercise is the key to prevention and treatment of bone loss.
- Quit smoking and limit your alcohol intake to keep your bones healthy.
- Limit your caffeine intake. Research shows that too much caffeine can decrease the amount of calcium you absorb.
Consult your doctor if you have any concern about your bone health. Your doctor might recommend for a bone density test. Your doctor will also check your information and will assess whether you are at risk of bone loss.