Weak bones, called osteopenia and osteoporosis, occur with increasing age due to more bone loss and less synthesis. It is commonly seen in postmenopausal women and can increase fracture risk.
- Get screened for Bone Mineral Density (BMD) in the following situations- Age>50 years, post-menopausal women, family or personal history of fractures, sedentary lifestyle, history of weight-loss diets, smoker, diabetic or using medicines like antacids (PPIs), corticosteroids, anticancer drugs, thyroid drugs or hormonal treatment for prolonged periods.
- Diet should contain a good amount of food rich in calcium and vitamin D (fortified milk, yogurt, tofu and cheese, almonds, green vegetables, figs, pulses, eggs, and fish).
- Post-menopausal women, the elderly, and people at risk should take a calcium supplement giving at-least 1000-1200mg of elemental calcium and around 800-1000 mg of vitamin D. Also discuss with your doctor about additional ingredients in the supplements like magnesium, zinc, vitamin C and K2.
- Some foods like spinach, collard greens, sweet potatoes, rhubarb, beans, wheat bran, seeds, nuts, and soy products may contain phytic or oxalic acid which prevent calcium absorption from the gut. These should not be eaten at the same time with calcium-rich foods or supplements.
- Reduce salt in diet: aim to use 1 teaspoon per person per day in your cooking over time. Alternate seasonings like vinegar, mustard, cilantro, onion, garlic and ginger-lemon can add tremendous taste to your daily meals instead of salt.
- Include regular exercise in daily routine for 30-45 min which is a combination of walking, jogging, or cycling with squats and push-ups.
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