Osteoporosis (a condition that weakens bones) affects 10 million Americans and around 44 million people are battling osteopenia (low bone density). The problem is more prevalent in women than in men. In adults aged over 50, for instance, around 19.6% of women have osteoporosis compared to only 4.4% of men. Whether you are 18 or 80, taking steps to foster better bone health is key. Women’s bone health is thankfully something that can benefit greatly by taking certain steps.
New Treatments for Osteoporosis
Doctors recommend screening for osteoporosis in women aged 65 and older or in postmenopausal women younger than 65 if they have an increased risk of osteoporosis. If you have low bone density, your doctor may recommend a specific treatment. Bisphosphonates are a common choice, but they can have an array of side-effects – including stomach upset and heartburn. Denosumab produces the same results but has less side-effects. More novel approaches include SARMS such as MK-2866 made by specialists such as Umbrella Labs. SARMS have been shown to restore the microarchitecture of damaged bones and, when combined with bisphosphonates, have been shown to affect bone growth positively. Of course, always discuss the different options with your doctor to ensure they find the safest, most effective solution.
Consuming a Healthy Diet
Exercise is often recommended as a way to maintain muscular and bone strength, but did you know that nutrition has an even greater impact on bone strength than exercise? In lab studies undertaken by University of Michigan researchers, it was found that calcium and phosphorus can greatly benefit bone health. Aim to obtain most of your daily calcium from food instead of supplemental tablets, since this habit is linked to healthier bones. Another study by scientists from the University of East Anglia found that consuming a Mediterranean diet could help reduce bone loss if you already have osteoporosis. This diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts, cereals, fish, and olive oil – all of which can help you reduce hip bone loss in just one year.
A Tufts University study showed that cola consumption is linked to lower bone density for women (but not for men) at three different hip sites. Currently, men drink around six carbonated drinks (five of which are cola) per week, while women consume five (four of which are cola). The researchers found that “The more cola that women drank, the lower their bone mineral density was. However, we did not see an association with bone mineral density loss for women who drank carbonated beverages that were not cola.”
Staying at a Healthy Weight
For years, it was believed that obese women had a lower risk of osteoporosis because excess body fat protected them against bone loss. A 2010 study by researchers at the Radiological Society of North America, however, shattered this myth. Having too much abdominal fat in particular, they found, can have a damaging effect on women’s bone health. Fat in the abdominal area is also linked to heart disease and diabetes.
Osteoporosis and osteopenia are pressing health concerns for women across the globe. To protect your women’s bone health, make sure to exercise regularly and consume a healthy Mediterranean-type diet. If you are a senior, ask your doctor for a bone density test so you can receive treatment or commence an osteoporosis prevention strategy if necessary.