By the age of 60, nearly half of the females get afflicted with osteoporosis. While one among five females will develop a fracture in the hip in her lifetime, nearly 50 percent of them will not able to walk again. Males are also not immune to this issue. Nearly 30 percent of the osteoporosis cases occur in males and around 50 per cent males who experience hip fractures do not last long and pass away in one year.
Is it a new disease?
Osteoporosis, which has now widespread, was practically not even heard nearly 100 years ago. It used to be an unusual disease then. So, what has actually happened? Have our genes changed over a period of 100 years?
Absolutely not! Genetic substances take probably 1000s of years to modify. The change has, in fact, happened in our environment. Our diet and lifestyle has changed during the last 100 years and have caused osteoporosis outbreak. What to do now? How do we prevent or reverse the osteoporosis process?
Hereunder are mentioned some ways for reversing or preventing osteoporosis onslaught:
Say “no… no” to the Pop!
Carbonated dazzling drinks like champagne, soft drinks and soda water wash out the calcium element of your bones. The Harvard study conducted on females between the ages of 16 and 20 revealed that nearly 50% of them were already suffering bone loss because of excessive consumption of soft drinks. Carbonated drinks also contain phosphates excessively, which is all the more reason for the loss of calcium.
Limit your protein intake
Protein consumption in excess increases acidity in the body system and plays a vital role in the loss of calcium via urine. On an average, most people require 2-4 Oz (ounces) of lean protein 3 times in a day.
Stomach Acid is vital
For containing issues like hiatal hernia and heartburn, several people use acid blocking medications, like Zantac, Tagamet, Protonix or Nexium. Stomach acid is vital for the mineral absorption, like calcium, zinc magnesium. Obstructing stomach acid considerably increases the risk of developing osteoporosis.
Actually, the above-mentioned medications are meant to be taken only for a period of 6 – 9 weeks continuously. Essentially, most of the heartburn causes are not because of stomach acid. Nearly 2/3rd people using acid blocking medicines have a very little amount of acid in their stomach, which may not be adequate.
Cut down Caffeine!
With every cup of coffee consumed, you lose around 150 mg calcium through your urine. Coffee decaffeination chemically will not help you as it has damaging chemicals. These chemicals interfere with the process of detoxification. Organic decaffeinated teas are a better choice. But in case you think caffeinated coffee is must for you, you may enhance the calcium consumption by 150 mg for every cup you drink.
Choosing the right Calcium
Tums are seen as the worst resource of getting calcium. Apart from being made with calcium carbonate, which is scantily absorbed kind of calcium, it declines the stomach acid level even more. Calcium hydroxyapatite and Calcium citrate are the best kinds of calcium for consumption. For their best absorption in your body, you are advised to take them on an empty stomach that too not more than 500 mg at one time. A total consumption of 1000mg – 1200 mg in a day is enough for the menopausal females.
Sunlight is essential
The deficiency of Vitamin D is endemic in our society. Calcium gets absorbed in the body and gets placed in the bones with the help of Vitamin D. It is also vital for modulation of the immune system, autoimmune abnormalities and depression. Vitamin D gets generated in the skin if and when you get exposed to the sun rays. As you go far from the equator, the lesser amount of Vitamin D gets generated in your skin. Most of the supplements have 400-800 IU Calcium which is not sufficient for people living or going to northern latitudes.
Most of the people, while going out in the sun, apprehend the risk of developing skin cancer. The sunscreens available in the markets usually block the generation of Vitamin D. That does not mean that you live with risk of developing skin cancer. The solution is to start taking supplements. Your physician may measure the Vitamin D levels in your body and prescribe you the right dosage.
Get your hormones examined?
After the menopause in females, decline in the hormone levels is a very common reason for the loss of bones. Andropause in males is equivalent to female menopause and can cause loss of bones in males. Sufficient levels of hormones like estrogen, testosterone and progesterone are imperative for maintaining your bones.
Increased levels of parathyroid hormone, cortisol and insulin may also result in loss of bones. Most of the physicians do not examine their levels. An increased calcium level in the blood serum is an indication that hormone parathyroid is extra in the body. Excessive consumption of starches and refined sugars in your diet may cause increased levels of insulin. With increased stress, your cortisol levels get higher.
Starches and refined sugar consumption increase your insulin levels, thus aggravate the osteoporosis onslaught. Coming to your diet, low glycemic index diet is considered as the ideal diet. The glycemic index is a computation of how swiftly food is transformed into sugar in your bloodstream. Low glycemic index diet does not increase insulin or sugar levels in the blood quickly. It includes leafy vegetables, lean protein, beans and good fats like avocados, fish and fish oil, olives and its oil and other nuts. Higher fiber consumption is one easy way of lowering insulin and sugar levels. Consumption of fiber prior to your meal may help in slowing down the sugars and fats absorptions, thus lowering your blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
With higher stress, your cortisol levels go up. In case your levels of cortisol remain raised for a longer period it may result in loss of bones. Cortisol irritates insulin and causes insulin resistance, ultimately increasing the blood sugar and resulting loss of calcium through urine. As modest as sugar equivalent to 25 teaspoons may cause loss of calcium via your urine.
For reducing stress and depression, you may take a greater part in activities that help in invoking the response like meditation, massage, tai chi and yoga. You may make changes in your lifestyle and include adequate sleep, holidaying and psychotherapy methods that help you in balancing toxic relationships. Don’t let the “candle burning from both the ends”.
Exercise, exercise…and, exercise
With muscle pulls during the exercise program, your bones get stimulated. It is a way of telling them that they are very much needed. Weight-bearing exercises, like climbing, hiking, weightlifting and even walking help in increasing the bone density. Just 15 – 30 minutes of such exercises are helpful. You don’t have to do weightlifting with heavy weights. For your ankles and hands, just 2 – 5 pounds of weightlifting are fine. Else, you may use your body weight and allow the gravitational force to carry out the job for you. Floor workouts like sit ups and legs lifting are also useful. Though cycling and swimming are great exercises for strengthening your muscles and overall fitness, they are not weight-bearing and hence not useful for your bones.