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Reduce Your Risk of Osteoporosis


Reduce Your Risk of Osteoporosis

Calcium can help maintain bone density and strength. Eat a nutritious diet and be sure you are getting adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D. Bone loss begins in the mid-30s and increases after the menopause. Most postmenopausal women should take calcium supplements, being careful not to take too much, because they do not get sufficient amounts of calcium in their daily diets.

  • Include low-fat dairy products in your diet. They are good sources of calcium.
  • Try to do moderate activity at least 2½ hours a week. Exercise reduces bone loss. Weight-bearing exercise, such as walking or running, is the most effective.
  • Begin taking calcium supplements if you are age 40 or older and you get less than 1000 mg of calcium a day from your diet. Avoid taking more calcium than recommended. High doses of calcium can increase the risk of kidney stones.
  • Get sufficient amounts of vitamin D, which helps the body use calcium. Women can get the amount of vitamin D they need each day by eating a variety of dairy products. Women who do not eat a variety of dairy products or who live in northern climates should include a daily supplement.
  • Do not smoke. Women who smoke enter menopause earlier and lose bone at an increased rate during the first years of menopause.1
  • Avoid excessive use of alcohol.

For more information on how you can prevent bone loss, see the topic Osteoporosis.

References

Citations

  1. Speroff L, Fritz MA (2005). Menopause and the perimenopausal transition. In Clinical Gynecologic Endocrinology and Infertility, 7th ed., pp. 621–688. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerCarla J. Herman, MD, MPH - Geriatric Medicine
Last RevisedMay 4, 2010

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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