Three Bad Habits That Contribute to Osteoporosis

There is no way to change your natural hair color, height or especially age, but there are things you can do to lower your osteoporosis risk. These are three habits that can significantly elevate your risks:

Smoking

It is not only bad for our lungs, but it is also bad for bones. Thinking that smoking is harmful for bones may be a little farfetched, but these are things that can make your bones weaker. Researches have shown that:

  • Smoking reduces estrogen production in women. This hormone is important to maintain strong bone.
  • Women who smoke regularly tend to have early menopause (another risk factor of menopause); due to reduced estrogen level.
  • Smokers can’t absorb calcium efficiently and calcium is important to maintain strong bones. Smoking effects can begin immediately on adolescents; they often have smaller bone size and lower bone mass.
  • Healing rate of fractured bones is lower in smokers – true of both genders.
  • By age 70, smokers’ bone density is 5 percent lower than normal.
  • More than ten percent of hip fractures in smoking women can be attributed to this habit.
  • Estrogen replacement therapy shows less effectiveness in smokers.

Although it may vary in some cases, the overall conclusion is clear. A good way to prevent osteoporosis is to quit smoking immediately or at least cut down you smoking gradually. Your bones will be grateful for the new change in lifestyle.

Alcohol

The relation between alcohol and osteoporosis can be a little confusing. Researches show that a moderate consumption of alcohol is good, however alcoholics tend to have an elevated risk for osteoporosis. It is generally defined that “moderate” drinking is equal to a couple of drinks every day for men and one for women. One drink is equal to 5 ounces of wine or 12 ounces of beer. So drinking one glass of red wine should be good for your bones – and your heart too. One study revealed that those who drink close to 200 ounces of beer each week may have 10 percent less bone mass that non-drinkers.

Moderate amount of alcohol can strengthen bone as it helps in converting testosterone to estrogen on post-menopausal women. Alcohol can increase calcitonin production, a hormone that prevents bone resorption after menopause, however, unrestrained drinking, especially after adolescence may suppress bone growth and increases the likelihood of suffering osteoporosis later in life. In fact, studies have indicated that heavy drinking at 20’s can cause permanent damage to overall health condition.

Heavy drinking may cause irregular periods or in some cases even to stop them altogether, due to decreased estrogen levels. There are also many documented cases that heavy alcohol intake on older people causes accidents, which increase the risk of bone injuries.

Alcohol indirectly affects calcium level in body by:

  • Causing vitamin D deficiency which will lower calcium absorption.
  • Increasing production of parathormone, which puts an additional pressure on your current calcium reserves.
  • Increasing magnesium excretion, which lower bone health.
  • Suppressing osteoblasts, which are essential in bone growth, and stimulating osteoclasts production, which break down bone. Heavy drinkers may have high levels of cortisol in their system, which reduces calcium absorption due to higher PTH production and causes less bone formation.

Food

Of course, adjusting our diet isn’t always fun. Although, many eat a moderate amount of food, a few would subsist mostly on fast foods, cookies and other high-sugar dishes.

Nutrition is so critical to bone growth and improper diet may badly ruin your bones. These are a few tidbits to understand the connection between what you chew and your bones condition.

Women above than 50 should consume about 1,500 mg of calcium daily, which is comparable to four glasses of fortified milk each day.

Poor dietary habits can cause you to lose some of calcium each day. Limit the intake of these calcium robbers:

Too much protein: High protein level may cause more calcium to be excreted through your urine. Fruits and vegetable, on the other hand, will increase your magnesium and potassium intake, which help to build up calcium stores. One good way to stop bone loss while maintaining nutrition balance is by consuming enough vegetables and get about 1500 mg of calcium a day, if you prefer to have high-protein diet.

Too much salt: Those bags of potato chips may result in additional calcium loss.

Sodas: Recent researches indicate that regular consumption of dark colas will result in reduced bone density. Both diet and regular sodas have similar effects on your bones. You won’t lose calcium if you eat calcium-rich foods along with phosphoric acid in colas. However, it’s unlikely that you drink soda, along with calcium-fortified juice or milk. Sodas give you caffeine and make you urinate more often, which can cause vital mineral to be washed away.



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