Start building strong bones today

May is National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month. Celebrate by learning more about the disease and what you can do now to keep your bones healthy at every stage of life. There are many non-pharmacological, nutritional and lifestyle changes you can make to help prevent osteoporosis. 

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, osteoporosis is a disease that happens when you lose too much bone, make too little bone or both. As a result, people with osteoporosis often have fragile bones that are more susceptible to injury.

About 52 million Americans live with osteoporosis or low bone mass, which increases their chances of developing the disease. The National Osteoporosis Foundation estimates that half of all women and one in four men will break a bone in their lifetime due to osteoporosis complications.

Making healthy nutritional and lifestyle changes can decrease the risk of osteoporosis. Well-balanced diets high in calcium and vitamin D can help keep bones strong, dense and healthy. Calcium is found in many foods, such as non-fat dairy products, and you can get a daily dose of vitamin D from foods, supplements or sunshine. Engaging in regular physical activity, limiting alcohol intake and stopping smoking can also lower chances of developing osteoporosis.

A bone density test is the best way to discover osteoporosis before a bone breaks. Those who are over 50 and have broken a bone, or those concerned about bone health, should talk to their doctor about scheduling a bone density screening.

To learn more about osteoporosis and how to prevent it, consider attending a Physician Lunch & Learn by Seneca Storm, M.D., from noon to 1 p.m., Wednesday, May 14 at AL!VE in Charlotte, Mich. The cost is $5 to attend and includes lunch. Call 517-543-9575 to register and reserve a spot.

Published in the Charlotte Shopping Guide, April 2014