Your bones are living tissue that is constantly being renewed and replaced in your body. If you lose too much bone or don’t produce enough new bone, or both, you may have low bone density or a disease called Osteoporosis. With nearly 25% of all the bones in your body residing in your feet, osteoporosis is a major concern for us here at Texas Foot Specialists.
There are several factors that put you at greater risk for osteoporosis. Some factors you cannot control but others you can.
What You Can’t Change
There are several immutable factors that can cause your bones to become weak:
- Age—although osteoporosis can affect a person at any age, it is more common in adults over the age of 50.
- Women over the age of 50 are twice as likely as men to break a bone from osteoporosis. In general, women have thinner and lighter bones than men. Menopause results in drops in estrogen levels which can further increase bone loss in women.
- Genetics—having a parent with a history of bone loss or osteoporosis increases the likelihood that you will get it also.
- Body type—being thin and/or small-boned increases the chances of getting osteoporosis.
Ways to Protect Bone Health
Fortunately, there are a number of lifestyle choices you can make that will strengthen your bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis:
- Increasing your calcium intake. In addition to the obvious sources: yogurt, milk and cheese, you can get more calcium by eating fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel and sardines, green vegetables (bok choy, broccoli, arugula, turnip greens), and foods fortified with extra calcium—fruit juices, breads and cereals.
- Developing a regular exercise regimen that includes both weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening activities.
- Limiting your intake of caffeine, alcohol and sodium.
- Quitting smoking.
- Losing weight if you weigh more than you should.
In addition, certain diseases, medical conditions and medications can increase your risk for low density. If you have concerns about osteoporosis, be sure to give our podiatrists, Dr. Gregory Mangum and Dr. Bruce Miller a complete and detailed medical history when you come into our Pasadena (281) 991-0600, Sugar Land (281) 242-4448 or Houston (713) 664-6677 office for your next appointment.