Osteoporosis: Prevention is the Key

Essay by Healthy1University, Master's October 2002

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Osteoporosis is a disorder in which bone mass decreases and bones become thin and lose strngth. This loss of bone can lead to bones breaking more easily. At this time there is no cure for osteoporosis but there are new treatments which may stop further break down of the bone and help in the building of new bone.

There are certain risk factors for osteoporosis these include being female, age, fair skin, small bone structure, early menopause, family history and low body weight. Since osteoporosis cannot be cured the true key is to prevent the disease. Obviously there are certain risk factors that there is no control over such as age or family history but there are items we can control such as low calcium intake, smoking and alcohol intake which can all contribute to osteoporosis.

The best way to prevent osteoporosis is with proper diet and exercise. It is important to get enough calcium and vitamin D in the daily diet especially for young women.

Young women between the ages of 11 and 25 can need as much as 1000-1500 mg of calcium per day. There are supplements that can help with calcium and vitamin D intake but ideally these should come from food. Most individuals are familiar with calcium being in milk and yogurt but there are other foods which are high in calcium. These include sardines which has 372mg in 3oz and cooked broccoli which has 136mg of calcium in one cup.

Another key to prevention is exercise. Any time in which bones are not active then bone loss will occur. Active women have a higher bone densoty than those who do not exercise. Any type of weight bearing exercise like walking, jogging and dancing will help to build bone mass.

It is important to take...