Helpful tips for living with osteoporosis
Osteoporosis, a disease that causes the bones to become brittle and porous, can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. It is the most common bone disease in the world, impacting about 54 million people — but many people are not diagnosed with osteoporosis until after a fracture occurs.
For those with osteoporosis, broken bones can result in a life-changing disability and a loss of independence — but focusing on leading a healthy lifestyle free from falls can help osteoporosis patients maintain a high quality of life even after a diagnosis.
Osteoporosis facts to know
- Osteoporosis is a medical term that literally translates to “porous bone,” and occurs when bone tissue is wearing away faster than the body is able to renew it
- One in three women and one in five men over 50 will experience a broken bone due to osteoporosis
- Many people with osteoporosis will experience multiple broken bones after diagnosis, which can result in a loss of mobility and independence
- Osteoporosis treatment guidelines include medications in conjunction with healthy lifestyle changes to reduce the disease’s impact
Lifestyle tips for living with osteoporosis
Foods for osteoporosis patients
A diet that is rich in calcium and vitamin D can help individuals reduce ongoing bone loss, which is an important concern for people who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis as well as those hoping to prevent its onset. Additionally, the phytochemicals found in many fruits and vegetables have been shown to protect against certain diseases such as osteoporosis.
Consuming plenty of leafy greens, healthy sources of fats, whole grains, and lean proteins are great building blocks to a bone-healthy diet. You can also discuss supplementation with your doctor in case you are not getting enough calcium and vitamin D from your diet alone.
Helpful osteoporosis exercises
It is never too late to establish a regular exercise routine, as long as your doctor approves an increase of your activity levels. For individuals diagnosed with osteoporosis, becoming more active can be a great way to slow the progression of the disease.
Strength training can help maintain bone density, while aerobic activities done on your feet can improve circulation and reduce the body’s mineral loss. The combination of a strength training regimen, aerobic exercise, regular stretching, and balance training is an ideal way to keep your bones and your body healthy.
Preventing falls for osteoporosis patients
For individuals diagnosed with osteoporosis, falls can be an especially serious concern — because the bones are more likely to break, even mild falls can cause fractures that could potentially lead to long-term disability.
Simple changes like standing up slowly, fall-proofing your home, and using an assistive device for walking are all good fall-prevention strategies. Additionally, older adults who exercise regularly and stay active are less likely to fall, which is another good reason to consider incorporating an activity regimen into your lifestyle.
Though osteoporosis is a serious condition, it is possible to manage it and continue to live a healthy and fulfilling life after diagnosis. For patients that are interested in expanding their treatment options, osteoporosis clinical trials can be a potential solution. To learn more, click the button below to see studies that are currently seeking participants.