Bone Health & Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a condition we tend to think is exclusively a condition of the elderly, but could be affecting young people as well. It’s the nature of the condition, winning it tag lines such as the pediatric disease with geriatric consequences.
Another nickname is the silent thief, named after symptomless bone loss. Bones affected by Osteoporosis become thinner and porous, this means bones become weak and prone to breaking. Causes may be due to poor lifestyle choices (too much processed food), genetics, menopause, or medications taken for serious health issues (like chemotherapy.) As gloomy as these facts may be, there is a bright side: Osteoporosis is preventable. Not only preventable, but it can be slowed down and even stopped.
“My main philosophy is that exercise is medicine,” says James. “Exercise is medicine for the bones.” Exercise strengthens muscles and stimulates bone strength, acting as a preventative. But what if it is “too late?” Luckily, there is no such thing. Though some exercise can be hazardous to bones already showing the affects of Osteoporosis, other exercises can be very beneficial. It is important to exercise safely in order to best build bones.
Like the rest of our body, bones need to be fed efficiently making proper nutrition essential in Osteoporosis prevention. Dr. Triendl-Dimitriu suggests an alkaline diet to maintain balance. This would include a diet is full of green vegetables, fruit and dairy- as opposed to an acidic diet full of meat and soft drinks, which negatively affect bone formation.
Osteoporosis can be a reality for all of us, no matter our gender or age. These simple tips can help us ensure healthy bones for many years!
Jo-Ann James is a Medical Exercise Specialist, MedFit Rehab CEO, Osteoporosis Canada National Speaker, and Bone Fit Educator.
Alexandra Triendle-Dimitriu is an Naturopathic Doctor here in Toronto.