The importance of good bone health is often underestimated, according to the orthopedic surgeon featured in this video. He sees patients at Good Samaritan Hospital in San Jose. This interview briefly touches on the treatment options for bone problems, but prevention is possible. Prioritizing your bone health at every stage of your life will help preserve your mobility and independence later in life.
Know the risks of poor bone health
It’s possible for anyone to develop bone problems like osteoporosis—older women aren’t the only ones whose bones can become brittle. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to know if you do have osteoporosis unless you have a bone density screening, or you suffer a fracture.
Be proactive about your bone health by asking your doctor about your risk factors, getting a bone density screening when it’s recommended and making some lifestyle modifications.
Quit smoking or don’t start
Smoking is an established risk factor of poor bone density. One of the reasons for this is that tobacco smoke suppresses the body’s ability to use dietary calcium for bone tissue.
For people who smoke, the risk of osteoporosis, fractures and long-term disability is just one more compelling reason to quit. Overcoming any addiction is hard work. Your doctor can connect you to the smoking cessation tools, medicines and resources that can help you succeed at becoming a non-smoker.
Limit alcohol consumption
Heavy, prolonged alcohol consumption can weaken the bones by negatively influencing the hormones that regulate calcium metabolism. Depending on your health history, your doctor may recommend that you avoid alcohol altogether.
Otherwise, women are generally advised to stick to no more than one drink per day. For men, the threshold is two drinks daily.
Weight-bearing exercises, such as jogging and playing tennis, help build strong bones. If you already have osteoporosis, your doctor can design a safe exercise program for you.
Consume food sources of calcium and vitamin D
Calcium is necessary for strong bones, but your body can’t use calcium properly without vitamin D. Look for low-fat or nonfat dairy products enriched with vitamin D. If you’re having trouble getting enough nutrients from food alone, your doctor may recommend a supplement.
The orthopedics specialists at Good Samaritan Hospital have made it their life’s work to improve your quality of life through better bone and joint health. We encourage patients in San Jose to ask us about proactively preserving bone health, but we also offer state-of-the-art medical interventions when problems develop. Call our hospital at (888) 724-2362.