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Health Issues

Osteoporosis Prevention

The following measures can greatly reduce your risk of osteoporosis. If you already have osteoporosis, these steps can help prevent your bones from becoming weaker. In some cases you may even be able to replace bone you've lost. Click here to take a One Minute Test.

Nutrition. The foods we eat contain a variety of vitamins, minerals, and other important nutrients that help keep our bodies healthy. All of these nutrients are needed in a balanced proportion. In particular, calcium and vitamin D are needed for strong bones as well as for your heart, muscles, and nerves to function properly. (See Prevention section for recommended amounts of calcium.)

Exercise. Exercise is an important component of an osteoporosis prevention and treatment program. Exercise not only improves your bone health, but it increases muscle strength, coordination, and balance and leads to better overall health. While exercise is good for someone with osteoporosis, it should not put any sudden or excessive strain on your bones. Asextra insurance against fractures, your doctor can recommend specific exercises to strengthen and support your back.

Consider hormone replacement therapy. Hormone replacement therapy can reduce a woman's risk of osteoporosis during and after menopause. But because of the risk of side effects, discuss the options with your doctor and decide what's best for you.

Don't smoke. Smoking increases bone loss, perhaps by decreasing the amount of estrogen a woman's body makes and by reducing the absorption of calcium in your intestine. The effects on bone of second hand smoke aren't yet known.

Avoid excessive alcohol. Consuming more than two alcoholic drinks a day may decrease bone formation and reduce your body's ability to absorb calcium. There's no clear link between moderate alcohol intake and osteoporosis.

Limit caffeine. Moderate caffeine consumption —about two to three cups of coffee a day — won't harm you as long as your diet contains adequate calcium.

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