Osteoporosis: It Can Happen to You
By Sara Butler
Osteoporosis is an epidemic in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 10 million people have this chronic condition and 80 percent of sufferers are women. Even scarier is that the number of people with low bone mass who are in danger of developing this condition keeps growing, too. This disease should be of concern to you; it’s definitely of concern to your chiropractor. Here’s what you need to know about osteoporosis and how your chiropractor can help.
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is essentially low bone mass. Diet and lifestyle are big factors in the development of the condition since proper exercise and nutrition are essential to avoid it. If you look at children today, however, you can see that they spend a lot of time on electronic devices or in front of the television, drinking sugary soda that robs their bodies of essential calcium instead of eating and drinking calcium-rich food and drinks. This calcium imbalance in childhood can influence bone mass throughout a person’s life, but it’s not the only factor. You are at higher risk of osteoporosis if:
- You’re a woman
- You’re menopausal
- You have a small frame
- You suffer from hormone imbalance
- You consume a lot of caffeine
- You’re a smoker
- You’re not physically active
- You have known Vitamin D or calcium deficiencies
- You have more than two alcoholic drinks per day
- You take certain medications such as antacids or thyroid hormone replacement
- You have a history of eating disorders
What You Can Do
The American Chiropractic Society has several suggestions to help reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis. They recommend:
- Exercise – Exercise places stress on the body and the bones, helping it to build strength in the muscles as well as add bone mass. Aim for 20 minutes of moderate exercise three times a week. If you have osteoporosis, make sure to consult a medical professional before starting a new exercise program.
- Eat right – Nutrition is very important. Decrease foods high in phosphorus such as chips, bacon, soda, hot dogs, beer, white rice, and bologna. Aim for foods high in calcium such as milk, yogurt, broccoli, cheese, spinach, and rhubarb.
If you’re concerned that you may be developing or have developed osteoporosis, share those concerns with your chiropractor, who can help to monitor your bone density and create a treatment plan to help you deal with any bone loss.
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Columbia, S.C.