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Lifestyle Changes to Prevent and Manage Osteopenia

Osteopenia is often confused with osteoporosis. Both are conditions of the bones. However, osteopenia is also referred to as having low bone mass. The condition can actually increase the risk of osteoporosis developing. Osteopenia means that your bones have a low mineral density and a low bone mass when compared to the norm. However, your low bone mass is not low enough to be called osteoporosis, which is a disease that can make your bones become brittle and increases the risk of getting fractures and breaks.

While osteopenia can increase a person’s risk of developing osteoporosis and is often considered as a precursor to the condition, not everyone who suffers from osteopenia will develop osteoporosis. Making a few lifestyle changes can help prevent and manage the condition. Here are ten changes that you can make to help prevent osteopenia or manage the symptoms of it if you currently have it.

1. Diet

When it comes to managing osteopenia one of the most important lifestyle changes that you can make in your diet. What you eat is extremely important for your entire body, not just your bones. Eating a healthy diet can go a long way in protecting yourself from many types of diseases and health issues. In order to maintain your bone strength, you need to eat foods that are rich in calcium and other nutrients.

Some of the best sources of these nutrients include green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, kale, and others, and dairy products such as milk and cheese. Another option is to add a calcium supplement to your diet. When taking any type of supplement it is best to discuss it with your doctor first. There are some supplements that will need to be taken with another supplement in order to be the most effective. In addition, certain types of calcium are better than others.


2. Exercise

In order to help manage osteopenia or prevent it from occurring it is important to exercise regularly. This not only will help to keep your entire body healthy, but it will also support the bones. The best exercises that you can do in order to help your bones become stronger are resistance exercises and weight-bearing exercises. Dancing, walking, running, and lifting weights will all put weight on your bones.

This can all help to support the strength of the bones, which in turn can help to prevent osteopenia from occurring. If you have already developed osteopenia, chances are that you do not realize it. Exercising on a regular basis is important to keep your entire body healthy. Aerobic exercises such as dancing can help to promote the strength of the muscles as well. Both diet and exercise are not only important for the health of your bones but support your overall health as well.


3. Quit Smoking

Smoking, in general, is bad for your health. It not only can damage your lungs and other organs, but it can also cause damage to the bones. This is something that many people may not realize or even know. If you are trying to build up your bones it is important to make sure that you quit smoking. There are many different systems available that can help you during the quitting process.

Smoking is something that can be quite difficult to stop doing if you are currently addicted. If you struggle with this habit, discuss it with your doctor. There are many types of medication available that can help ease the process of quitting. Your doctor will be able to prescribe some of these medications to help you on your journey of quitting. This is important for both the health of your bones and your overall health in general.


4. Alcohol

If you consume alcohol it is important to do so in moderation. This means that women should not have more than one drink per day and men should have no more than two drinks per day. This is an important way to help prevent and to manage osteopenia because drinking too much alcohol can actually affect the balance of calcium within the body. Alcohol consumption also changes the way that the body makes hormones and uses vitamins.

The body may not use the vitamins in the right way to support bone growth when too much alcohol is consumed. In addition, when you drink too much alcohol you increase your risk of falling because of the way that alcohol affects your balance. If your bones are already weak from osteopenia, falling could mean breaking a bone. Overall, if you have been diagnosed with osteopenia or you want to avoid having issues with your bones, alcohol consumption should be limited.


5. Caffeine and Sodium

There have been direct links to the consumption of caffeinated beverages and osteopenia. Caffeinated sodas and coffee can actually cause a person to lose bone density. If you are currently drinking more than one or two cups of coffee per day and also consume caffeinated beverages, it is important to cut back. Switch to drinking more water throughout the day.

Your bones and body will thank you for it. In addition, too much sodium can also cause a depletion in bone density. It is important to check the labels of any packaged food that you are eating and avoid the foods that have high sodium content. Eating a diet that is low in sodium can also help if you suffer from high blood pressure or other types of heart issues. Overall, cutting back on the caffeine and the amount of sodium that you consume can greatly reduce your risk of osteopenia.


6. Calcium

If you are trying to avoid osteopenia or to manage the symptoms of this condition, it is important to make sure that you are consuming enough calcium through your diet. It is best to choose to get your calcium through the food that you eat. However, there are also calcium supplements that are available that you can take in order to ensure you get enough of it each day. The majority of adults need to consume about 1000 mg of calcium each day.

Calcium citrate is the best form of calcium to take in as it is what is absorbed by the body the best. Some foods that have high amounts of calcium include all dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurts. Leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach, and broccoli, all contain high amounts of calcium as well. Consuming these foods will help to support the growth of bones and offer an easy way to prevent and manage osteopenia.


7. Vitamin D

Another important vitamin that is important for the health of the bones is vitamin D. It is important to make sure that you are getting enough vitamin D each day. One of the best ways to ensure that you get enough vitamin D is simply to spend some time in the sun each day.

This will provide you with vitamin D that you need in order to support bone growth and density. Elderly adults and those who do not spend much time outdoors should take a vitamin D supplement each day. The recommended amount is about 1000 IU. Older people who struggle to synthesize vitamin D through their skin may require a higher dosage. It is important to have your vitamin D levels checked by your doctor to determine whether you need to take a supplement. It is important to discuss any type of supplement that you take with your primary care physician.

8. Magnesium

In order to metabolize calcium properly, your body needs magnesium. This mineral is important for many reasons. If you are suffering from bone density loss it is important to make sure that you are getting enough magnesium in your diet. If you are eating plenty of calcium, but do not have enough magnesium, the calcium is not going to be properly used in the body, which means that you will not be getting the results that you desire.

Magnesium is present in those same green leafy vegetables that contain calcium. This includes spinach, kale, broccoli, and more. The chances are good that if the vegetable is green it contains magnesium, iron, and calcium. Making dietary changes to include magnesium and calcium can go a long way to help prevent and manage osteopenia. There are supplements that contain these nutrients that can be taken, but it is best to get them from your food.


9. Vitamin B12

Another important nutrient that you need to ensure that you are getting enough of is vitamin B12. All of the B vitamins are important for your overall health. There are some very good supplements available that can be taken in order to ensure that you are getting the proper amounts.

Vitamin B12 supplements are especially good for the elderly who may have difficulty digesting vitamin B12 because of changes in the stomach acid. People who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet also might need a vitamin B supplement as they are likely not consuming enough of these vitamins in their diets. It is important to go to your doctor to have your vitamin levels checked before you begin taking any type of supplement. It is also important to make sure that

you choose high-quality supplements to take as this is the best way to make sure that they work the way that you need them to.

10. Preventing Falls

One of the other life changes that you can make to prevent and manage osteopenia is to take special care in order to prevent falls. When you have osteopenia there is an increased risk of fracturing your back or your hip if you fall. Some of the things that you can do to help lower your risk of following include: keep your home well lit, install railings in the bathtub, avoid walking outside during icy weather if possible, wear shoes that provide proper support and fit your feet well, and pay attention when you walk.

This means that you should avoid being on your phone or other distractions when you are out and about. When your bone density is low, even the slightest fall can cause damage to the bone. This is why it is important to do things in your life that can help you avoid taking risks that may cause you to fall.

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