Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is when the bone mineral density is reduced, bone micro architecture is disrupted, and the amount of a certain type of protein is altered.  Osteoporosis can be prevented with lifestyle changes and sometimes medications.  Osteoporosis has no specific symptoms; it does however increase the risk of bone fractures.

Three keys to strong bones are Calcium, Vitamin D, and Weight bearing activity.  Calcium gives bones their strength and Vitamin D controls how much calcium and phosphate you absorb from food.

Recommended Daily Amounts of Calcium

Men and women

25-65 years

1200 mg

Women

50-65 years not on hormone replacement

1500 mg

Men and women

66 + years

1500 mg

Your main source of calcium from foods is in dairy products otherwise calcium comes from supplements.  8 ounces of milk contains about 300mg of calcium, 8 ounces of yogurt contains about 400mg of calcium, and one ounce of cheese contains about 200mg of calcium.  If your total daily supply of calcium is less than the recommended amounts a calcium supplement is recommended.  The best way to take a calcium supplement is in divided doses with meals.

Vitamin D can be made in the skin when exposed to ultra violet light.  Many foods, such as dairy products and cereals, are fortified with Vitamin D.  The daily recommended dose of Vitamin D is 400 to 800 units.

Your bones are being remodeled all of the time, if you do no use them they will break down faster than they rebuild.  Any weight bearing activity every day is helpful.  Walking, running, or even just staying on your feet for at least four hours per day is helpful.  Keeping your muscles strong and limber can also decrease the risk of falling which can cause injuries such as fractures.

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