Page 6 - NLH Friends Newsletter Spring 2014
P. 6

Maintain Healthy Bones and Stay Fit for Life

Keeping your bones healthy may not be at the top        With no obvious warning signs, testing bone density
of your to-do list, but it should be. We need our       is the surest way to check for bone health. “A bone
bones to stay strong as we age so we can continue       density test is a simple 5-to-10-minute process that
to be active and enjoy life.                            not only helps detect osteoporosis before a fracture
                                                        occurs, but also helps predict the chances of fracturing
Osteoporosis is a common natural process that thins     in the future,” said Brian Frenkiewich, DO. “We use
and weakens bones. More than 40 million people          the results of these tests to develop a plan to protect
in the US have osteoporosis or are at high risk due     bone health.”
to low bone mass. Osteoporosis can cause fractures
                                                        Steps to take to protect your bones
             A bone density test
             is a simple 5-to-10-                       “The good news is that you are never too old
             minute process ...                         or too young to improve your bone health,” said
                                                        Dr. Frenkiewich, “There are many things you can
                   ~ Brian Frenkiewich, DO              do to keep bones strong and prevent fractures.”
                                                        These include:
“of the hip, spine, and wrist bones. Approximately one
                                                         • G et enough calcium and vitamin D from diet
in two women and up to one in four men age 50 and           and supplements.

”older will break a bone due to osteoporosis. Breaking      • W omen over 50 and men over 70 need at least
                                                              1200 milligrams (mg) of calcium a day. Women
a bone is often the first sign of this silent disease,        19 to 50 years old and men 19 to 70 years old
or you may notice that you are getting shorter or your        should have 1000 mg a day. Calcium is found
upper back is curving forward.                                in dairy foods and dark, leafy vegetables.

Besides getting older and being female (women               • V itamin D requirements are 800 international units
lose bone mass faster during menopause), these                (IU) a day if you over 70 years old, and 600 IU a day
additional factors put people at greater risk for             if younger. Fatty fish is a good source of dietary
developing osteoporosis:                                      vitamin D, along with various fortified foods.

 • B eing of white or Asian descent.                    • E xercise regularly. Do weight-bearing exercise, such
                                                            as walking or stair climbing, at least 30 minutes every
 • H aving a parent or sibling with osteoporosis,          day (even if only 10 minutes at a time), and strength
    and especially a family history of hip fractures.       training two to three times a week. Take Tai Chi
                                                            or yoga classes to increase balance and strength.
 • H aving a small body frame.
                                                         • Don’t smoke. Tobacco use contributes to weak bones.

                                                         • A void excessive alcohol. Regular consumption
                                                            of more than two alcoholic drinks a day increases
                                                            risk of osteoporosis.

                                                         • R educe risk of falls. Check your home for loose
                                                            rugs, poor lighting, etc. Install grab bars in tubs
                                                            and showers, and make sure you can get in and
                                                            out of bed easily.

                                                        Although there is no cure for osteoporosis, there are
                                                        medications that slow down the loss of bone, rebuild
                                                        some bone and help reduce fractures.

For more information, visit the National Osteoporosis Foundation website,

6 | Friends NEWSLETTER | WINTER 2014
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