Osteoporosis and Balance
you have osteoporosis, you have an increased risk of fracturing a bone
if you fall. People with osteoporosis have brittle bones that are
less dense than they should be.
These bones fracture more
easily than normal, healthy bones. While a broken wrist will just
be annoying for a few months while it heals, a broken bone in your
back, hip, or leg can be very serious.
suggested that osteoporosis can even cause a fall. The theory is
that a person could have such poor bone health that the pelvis could
break just from the impact of walking, causing a loss of balance and
As you get older, your risk for osteoporosis increases. Here are things you can do to curtail or prevent it:
• Exercise at least three times per week.
where you are on your feet, like walking, are the best because they put
more pressure on the bones, which encourages them to grow
stronger. Weight-training has also been shown to improve bone
• Get adequate calcium.
Department of Health and Human Services recommends that people over the
age of fifty get 1200mg of calcium per day. Dairy products, nuts,
broccoli, beans, orange juice, cereals, and apricots are all good
sources of calcium. Talk with your doctor about your calcium
intake and consider using supplements (calcium pills) if you don’t
think you are getting enough.
• Get adequate vitamin D.
important vitamin helps your body absorb calcium. It is made by
your skin when you spend time in the sun. The U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services recommends that people over the age of fifty
get 400 IUs of vitamin D daily.
People over seventy should get
600 IUs per day. Vitamin D is found in fish like salmon and tuna
and in fortified milk or cereal. Most calcium supplements also
contain vitamin D.
• Avoid smoking and alcohol.
Smoking and alcohol may reduce bone density and thus should be minimized.
if you have osteoporosis, it is even more important to keep your
balance in good shape to help reduce your risk of falling and breaking
a bone. You should be doing safe activities that use your sense of
balance most days of the week.
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