Overcoming Osteoporosis

Overcoming Osteoporosis
Can you imagine being afraid to cough or sneeze because it might break a bone in your body? It may sound far-fetched, but this is a reality for many people with severe osteoporosis. While this represents the most extreme cases of this bone-thinning disease, most of us have good reason to be concerned. Indeed, the majority of Americans age 50 or older are affected by either low bone mass or full-blown osteoporosis.

Typically, our bone strength increases up to age 30, with density declining by 40. In general, the stronger your bones when you’re young, the less chance you’ll have of developing osteoporosis later in life. Because women tend to have less bone density than men, they’re at greater risk and make up about 80 percent of the more than 200 million people worldwide with the condition. By some estimates, about one out of every two women will break a bone due to osteoporosis at some point during her lifetime. But men need to be on guard as well; about half of men over 50 have osteopenia—a signifi cant lessening of bone density and precursor to osteoporosis. Despite these startling statistics, there’s good news. Although some factors contributing to the loss of bone density are beyond our control—certain medical conditions and heredity, for example—many risk factors can be minimized by simple lifestyle changes.

Here are five things you can do to help ensure your bones stay strong as long as possible:
  1. Avoid tobacco smoke, including second-hand smoke. One study showed that a woman who lives with a heavy smoker can have over fi ve times the risk for osteoporosis.1
  2. Stay away from alcohol and caffeine. Along with other negative impacts, alcohol can interfere with vitamin D production and calcium balance in the body, leading to a calcium shortage in the bones.2 Caffeine also robs the body of calcium.3
  3. Include calcium and supporting nutrients—such as vitamin D—in your diet. You don’t need dairy products to accomplish this.4 Dark, leafy greens; beans and other legumes; and many seeds and nuts are excellent sources of calcium for those eating a plant-based diet.
  4. Exercise! Regular weight-bearing exercises can slow bone loss. Even if a person already has osteoporosis, a doctor can steer them to the right exercises to help maintain bone density. Bulking up on muscle helps reinforce bones that have weakened. Plus, more strength translates to fewer falls and less chance of a fracture.
  5. Minimize stress. Studies have linked osteoporosis with stress5—but that should come as no surprise to Bible students who have read, “A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones” (Proverbs 17:22).

When it comes to osteoporosis, taking action today can mean stronger bones tomorrow! And remember that regardless of the condition of our physical framework, God promises us great spiritual strength and hope: “The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. … He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength” (Isaiah 40:28, 29).
  1. https://www.medwirenews.com/bone-health/orthopaedics/secondhand-smoke-increases-osteoporosis-risk-in-postmenopausal-women/107310
  2. https://www.bones.nih.gov/health-info/bone/osteoporosis/conditions-behaviors/alcoholism#b
  3. https://www.ornish.com/zine/effect-ornish-diet-osteoporosis/
  4. https://www.mayoclinic.org/boost-your-calcium-levels-without-dairy-yes-you-can/art-20390085
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16137956

Back To Top