Did you know that humans stop growing new bone mass around the age of 30?
With the average life expectancy hovering around 78 years, that’s 48 years of wear and tear on our bones without new growth. It’s easy to see why our bones weaken without proper care.
At the Atchafalaya Tubal Reversal Clinic, we are big proponents of preventive healthcare for women of all ages and urge our patients to take steps today to avoid problems later on.
What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a condition that causes weak and brittle bones, affecting about 10 million men and women in America. Osteopenia, or having lower than normal been density, is the precursor to osteoporosis and affects about 34 million Americans.
People with osteoporosis are more susceptible to bone fractures, most commonly in the hips, wrists, and spine. Complications from these fractures lead to death in about 20% of patients with osteoporosis.
The dangers of low bone density are well known, yet women continue to be diagnosed at record numbers. This is largely because steps to reduce your risk and prevent it need to be employed from an early age, before any signs of the condition are detected.
Why is it so common?
Osteoporosis is a “silent condition”, where symptoms don’t appear until an injury has happened. Because it’s most common later in life, young people tend not to worry about it.
But, to reduce the risk, action needs to be taken now. It’s important to implement prevention measures into your life as early as possible and encourage the same behavior in your friends and family.
10 Ways to Increase Calcium Intake and Reduce the Risk of Osteoporosis:
- Eat your greens: Eat leafy green vegetables such as kale, Swiss chard, spinach, and broccoli every day. These are loaded with calcium and also supply a boost of vitamin K, which helps to block calcium loss from bones.
- Eat dairy: Choose lean dairy options such as nonfat yogurt, milk, and cheese to increase your calcium intake. Here at the Atchafalaya Tubal Reversal clinic, big fans of Greek yogurt. It is high-protein and delicious topped with nuts, granola, or honey.
- Cook with tofu: Tofu is a great source of calcium, especially when made with calcium sulfate. Try it sautéed with garlic and greens over rice.
- Get some sun: Expose your skin to 15 minutes of sunshine per day to help increase your Vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is crucial to aid absorption of the calcium in your diet.
- Get moving: Engage regular, weight-bearing exercise to help strengthen your bones. Make it a habit to walk for at least 30 minutes 3 to 4 times per week. Jumping rope, running, and weight lifting are also good weight-bearing activities.
- Ditch the buzz: Caffeine causes more rapid calcium excretion. Limit your caffeine intake to fewer than 3 cups of coffee per day.
- Shed bad habits: Quit smoking and drinking too much, even if you’re a rock star. Smoking is detrimental to women’s health in many ways, and contributing to osteoporosis is one of them. Smoking decreases a woman’s estrogen levels, and estrogen is a major player in delaying bone loss. Alcohol inhibits calcium absorption, so limit yourself to 1 drink per day.
- Supplement: Although calcium from your diet is the best way to meet your recommended dietary allowance, if you’re not getting enough then supplementing can be a beneficial alternative. Taking too much calcium can be dangerous, however, so talk to your doctor about how much calcium you should be taking per day, and make it a habit to do so. Below are the recommended intakes.
|Age (Female)||Recommended Dietary Allowances for Calcium|
- Test your bones: Women aged 65 and up and men aged 70 and up are advised to get their bone density tested. Additionally, postmenopausal women with a history of fractures or broken bones should get tested regardless of age.
- Talk to your doctor: Other factors may increase your risk of osteoporosis and osteopenia, including the use of anti-seizure medications and hormones such as prednisone. Discuss this with your doctor to ensure all necessary steps are being taken. If you are at risk, there are measures that can be taken to prevent bone loss and risk of fracture.
Does tubal reversal surgery increase my risk of osteoporosis?
No, tubal reversal surgery has no effect on your risk of osteoporosis.