“Life near the bone is the Sweetest.” –Henry David Thoreau
by Wendy Midgley, MEd, RD, LDN, CDE & Deb Brothers-Klezmer, BSN, RN-BC, CRRN, NCTMB
Summer is complete! The Jewish holidays have come and gone early. Fall “energy” is in full force. We have seen a beautiful, huge Harvest Moon! The autumnal equinox—a powerful time of year with roughly equal amount of daylight and darkness –occurred September 22nd.
During this season, it is wise to have positive diet and lifestyle habits in place— to ensure that we stay healthy during the coming Autumn and Winter. Are we eating well? Do our physical activity routines work for us? How are our sleeping patterns? Are we getting enough relaxation? So many aspects of our lives to balance!
In this BLOG, we address the importance of bone health—for our overall health:
- Function and purpose of our bones
- Symbolism and meaning
- What is osteopenia and osteoporosis?
- How to maintain strong healthy bones
- How to strengthen weakened bones
FUNCTION and PURPOSE
All the bones in our body (206 total) comprise the skeleton. The skeleton provides structure and a base for our muscles, tendons, sinews, and ligaments to attach. Certain bone structures–like the pelvic area–provide protection and “a holder” for vital internal organs to work safely. The skull bones protect our brain.
Bone marrow (inner part of bones) produces red blood cells, platelets, and white blood cells. Since these cells don’t live a long time, the marrow is continuously producing all 3 types of blood cells to keep us healthy.
Bones store minerals and salts.
The skeleton makes it possible for us to walk around on planet Earth! We would not survive without it!!!
SYMBOLISM and MEANING
There is something serious, deep, and mysterious about bones! In Thoreau’s opening quote, he compares bones to a certain lifestyle. This New England writer lived simply, close to nature, unencumbered with extra “things” and baggage. He also stated:
Other Quotes: “I felt it (or knew it) in my bones.” “He lived a ‘bare bones’ existence.” “I was hurt (or betrayed) to the bone.” “She was so thin, she looked like a bag of bones.” “He has no backbone.” “For authenticity, you need to get down to the bone.” “The bones have a story to tell about a person.” (as in the hit TV show ‘BONES’. In the end, all that is left is the bones.) “I was weary to the bone” (or “bone-tired.”) “He doesn’t have a competitive bone in his body.” “I was chilled to the bone.”
On a lighter side, Reba McEntire states: To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone.
LOUISE HAY, author of the book: YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE states:
***Bones and the skeleton relate not only to the structure of our bodies, but also to the structure of the Universe.***
She believes that the bone marrow represents our deepest beliefs about the self, and how we support and care for ourselves.
“I believe life is precious; I believe that to the marrow of my bones– —Richard Mourdock—
Any concerns we have regarding our bones, Louise suggests we affirm: “I am well structured and balanced. Spirit is the structure of my life. I am safe and loved and totally supported.”
STRONG, HEALTHY BONES OVER the YEARS
Babies are born fully equipped to develop strong, healthy bones over a life-time (as long as they are a result of a healthy pregnancy)
***How we eat, how we live (positive/negative habits), and how we move (or don’t move) contribute to the state of our bone health over the years. If we live and eat well early on, we are more likely to have stronger bones in later years. Prevention is the best approach.***
Our bones are capable of “remodeling” and producing new bone throughout our lives (breaking down old bone and replacing with new). The adult skeleton is replaced approximately every ten years. The young body makes new bone faster than it breaks down old bone. As we grow older, however, we lose bone faster than we replace it.
Peak bone mass occurs typically in our late 20’s-up to age 30, and the thicker our bones are by ~age 30, the longer it will take to develop osteopenia or osteoporosis.
Healthy bones are made up of dynamic living tissue: crystals of calcium salts in a protein matrix. Healthy bone requires a wide range of nutrients and minerals—not just calcium—to maintain optimum states. High-quality bone is strong and resilient, much like bamboo. In contrast, osteoporotic bones are porous and brittle. Bone supported by bisphosphonate medications (like Fosamax) has more of a chalk structure—dense yes, but often very brittle. http://www.betternutrition.com/collagen-bones-calciumosteoarthritis/columns/askthenaturopath/1146
As we age, bones naturally become thinner to some degree. This is not necessarily a disease. But when bones are too thin and brittle, we are more prone to fractures, falls, limited mobility, and earlier mortality. We all know stories of how health can deteriorate rapidly in the elderly–if they fall and experience a hip fracture. http://www.womentowomen.com/bonehealth/bonehealthatanyage.aspx (An excellent article on bone health, from pre-birth through “old age.”) by Susan E. Brown, PhD
FACTORS EFFECTING BONE HEALTH
- Medications (prescribed and over-the-counter, or OTC), as well as some illegal drugs are additional influences. Some medications known to contribute to negative bone health include: steroids such as cortisone and prednisone, steroidal inhalants for asthma, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments as well.
A medication list provided by the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) includes (but not limited to):
- Aluminum-containing antacids such as Gelusil, Maalox, Mylanta, Gaviscon
- Antiseizure medicines (only some) such as Dilantin® or Phenobarbital
- Aromatase inhibitors such as Arimidex®, Aromasin® and Femaral
- Cyclosporine A and FK506 (Tacrolimus)
- Gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) such as Lupron® and Zolade
- Medroxyprogesterone acetate for contraception (Depo-Provera®)
- Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) such as Nexium®, Prevacid® and Prilosec®
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Lexapro®, Prozac® and Zoloft®
- Tamoxifen® (premenopausal use)
- Thiazolidinediones such as Actos® and Avandia®
- Thyroid hormones in excess
http://www.nof.org/articles/6 (“Medicines that May Cause Bone Loss”)
- An excessively acidic diet can contribute to bone loss. (e.g., too much caffeine, alcohol, sugar, excess cola beverages high in phosphoric acid).
- Lack of major and micro nutrients. Calcium–we are all familiar with. Vitamin K2 is getting more attention. Adequate Vitamin D3 is important. Micronutrients such as boron and strontium are needed.
- Chronic stress and release of stress hormones such as cortisol
- Lack of physical activity and normal weight bearing movements
- Eating disorders or metabolic problems that interfere with proper assimilation and use of vitamins and minerals.
- Hormonal changes, such as the estrogen drops of menopause
- Insulin resistance, diabetes, and the inflammation of cardiovascular disease
- A strong genetic component. Certain ethnic groups such as American blacks are known for having stronger bones (and teeth) than other ethnic populations–e.g.: thin, fair-haired, blue-eyed women of northern European descent. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1863580/ (“Racial Differences in Bone Strength”, Mark Hochberg, MD)
–Women of SouthEast Asian ancestry are also at greater risk. http://www.cmdrc.com/middle-to-transition-years/osteopenia-and-osteoporosis (from the Center for Menstrual Disorders and Reproductive Choice)
–Men (of all ethnic groups) can also experience thinning bones and bone loss as well as women. Approximately one third of those affected by osteoporosis are males (about 2.8 million of them as of 2011). But men tend to present several years later than women due to hormonal differences. http://www.lef.org/protocols/metabolic_health/osteoporosis_01.htm
–Frame size. Men and women who have small, slim body frames tend to have a higher risk because they may have less bone mass to draw from as they age. And with women: the hormonal changes of menopause increase the bone loss process further.
–Family history. Having a parent or sibling with osteoporosis puts you at greater risk, especially if you also have a family history of hip fractures.
DEFINITIONS of Osteoporosis and Osteopenia
- Osteoporosis literally means “porous bones.” It is a medical condition in which the bones become brittle and fragile from loss of tissue (including protein.) Hormonal changes, deficiency of minerals such as calcium, and/or low Vitamin D levels are typically involved. Porous bones are subject to fracture and heal slowly. The older we get, the greater the risk of osteoporosis.
“Osteoporosis is characterized by loss of calcium from bones, shifting them from their healthy hard state to a diseased state of softness. As osteoporosis develops, we are more likely to be developing atherosclerosis characterized by excessive influx of calcium into arterial walls, shifting them from their healthy flexible state to a diseased state of hardness. “http://www.lef.org/protocols/metabolic_health/osteoporosis_01.htm
SYMPTOMS of Osteoporosis: No symptoms at first– but over time: back pain, caused by a fractured or collapsed vertebra, loss of height, stooped posture, bone fractures that occur more easily than expected.
“Each year, 1.5 million older Americans suffer a bone fracture due to osteoporosis. Half of all women over 50, and a quarter of all men, will suffer an osteoporosis-related fracture sometime in their remaining life. And the problem is increasing: the surgeon general estimates that by 2020, half of all Americans over 50 will be at risk for bone fractures from osteoporosis and bone loss”…
http://www.webmd.com/osteoporosis/osteoporosis-myth-broken-bones-from-falls-are-not-related-to-osteoporosis (The Osteoporosis Myth: Broken Bones from Falls are not Related to Osteoporosis)
- When bones start to thin, it is called Osteopenia. Beginning in middle age, existing bone cells are reabsorbed faster than new ones are made; minerals are lost and bone structure becomes less dense and weaker. This condition refers to a bone mineral density (BMD) that is lower than normal peak BMD but not low enough to be classified as osteoporosis. (BMD is equal to the level of minerals in the bones and indicates how dense and strong they are).
Some individuals have naturally thin bones–that are strong. We should not jump to the conclusion that all thin women, with smaller bones, have osteopenia.
Some folks with lower BMDs never develop osteoporosis….i.e.: Even though they may naturally have lower bone density, they may not experience a greater risk for fractures.
SYMPTOMS of Osteopenia: There are typically no symptoms as bone is gradually thinning. However, the risk of breaking a bone increases over time, as bones become less dense.
Although a diagnosis of osteopenia indicates a greater risk over the years for developing osteoporosis; there are steps one can take to prevent this outcome. http://www.webmd.com/osteoporosis/tc/overview-osteopenia (TIPS further ahead re: Diet, Exercise, Stress Reduction, possible Nutrition Supplements)
Bone Density Test
The Bone Density Test provides a measurement of the density of a bone’s mineral content. This test can provide a baseline–to compare an individual’s bone density status over time.
“A bone density test uses X-rays (typically the DEXA scan, which uses dual energy X-ray absorptiometry) to measure how many grams of calcium and other bone minerals are packed into a segment of bone. The bones that are most commonly tested are located in the spine, hip and forearm. “ http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bone-density-test/MY00304/DSECTION=why-its-done
Scores are given to assess level of bone density and whether one has normal bone mass, osteopenia, or osteoporosis. For more information on interpretation of numbers, go to: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Bone/Bone_Health/bone_mass_measure.asp
***NOTE: Bone Density tests don’t always tell the whole picture regarding one’s bone health. For alternative points of view: read Nan Fuchs, PhD’s CalciumHoax.pdf and check out her website: http://www.womenshealthletter.com/Home.htm She states that only certain parts of the skeleton are assessed in the Bone Density Test, so the test gives only a partial assessment. Areas that aren’t assessed may have different measurements. Also, some people have an overall lower bone mineral density naturally–but their bones are still strong and they don’t get osteoporosis.***
TREATMENTS for Osteoporosis and Osteopenia
FOR OSTEOPENIA: Start by improving diet, exercise and lifestyle habits. Consider adding a few nutritional supplements. (See Dr. Northrup’s List further down.) You may never have a need for any types of medications–if you eat well, exercise, reduce stress, be pro-active, and PREVENT FALLS.
FOR OSTEOPOROSIS: Improve diet, exercise safely, and modify necessary lifestyle habits. Nutritional supplements may be recommended. All of these efforts may not prove adequate. Medications may be considered. PREVENT FALLS.
MEDICATIONS for OSTEOPOROSIS
Bisphosphonates are the main category of medications for treatment of osteoporosis. The oldest of these is Fosamax (adrenolate). (Other medications include Boniva, Actinel, and Reclast.) Fosamax works by slowing resorption—the breakdown phase of normal bone remodeling. It does not promote “new bone formation.” Defenders of Fosamax say that this medication gives new bone formation a chance to catch up with the break-down phase. Some patients on Fosamax benefit with increased bone density up to 10 years.
“Over three years on Fosamax, you can expect a 6% to 8% increase in spinal bone density and a 4% to 6% increase in hip bone density,” says Michael Holick, MD, PhD, a professor of medicine, physiology, and biophysics at Boston University Medical Center. “And the bisphosphonates have been found to reduce spinal fracture by as much as 60% over three years, and hip fractures by as much as 50%.” http://www.webmd.com/osteoporosis/features/newer-osteoporosis-treatments-build-stronger-bones
Common side effects of this medication are irritation of the esophagus and stomach ulcers. (although many users report none of these side effects.)
Some studies over the past few years have linked bisphosphonates to osteonecrosis (bone death) of the jaw and atrial fibrillation (irregular heart beat). Findings are controversial (although I (Wendy) personally have a 94 year old aunt who developed significant jaw issues from taking this medication—and has stopped it!) Perhaps these side effects are rare; but if you are one who developed it—then it is very serious!)
One theory regarding the “danger” of these medications refers to the idea that the normal dynamic action of bone, normal blood flow in the bone, and normal bone nutrition is disrupted.
Some recent reports link unusual fractures of the femur (thighbone) in long-term users of Fosamax. Due to all the controversies, some women have decided to go ‘on holiday’ re: using this medication; maybe start it up again in the future http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Womens_Health_Watch/2008/November/Whats_the_story_with_Fosamax
POSSIBLE NUTRITION SUPPLEMENTS for BONE HEALTH
- Recommendations by Christiane Northrup, MD–integrative, functional health practitioner
- Magnesium, 400–1,000 mg
- Calcium, 500–1200 mg (you can also get 500 mg in foods and make up the difference with 500-700 mg in supplements.)
- Vitamin D3, 800-5000 IU) Check your blood level of Vitamin D to make sure it is within 30-100 zone. Most MDs prefer it to be at least 50-70)
- Vitamin C, 1000–5000 mg
- Boron, 2–9 mg
- Zinc, 6-50 mg
- Manganese, 1-15 mg
- Copper, 1-2 mg
- Vitamin K, 70–140 mcg
- Beta carotene, 15 mg11
A more alternative supplement approach: Nan Fuchs, PhD (calcium researcher)
Nan Fuchs, PhD believes that a vital mineral for bone health is the mineral strontium. She contends that we over-do it with calcium supplements and that the body can’t assimilate more than 500 mg Calcium from Calcium supplements per day. In her research, calcium is only one aspect of bone health. Dr. Fuchs states that “excess calcium supplementation can promote certain types of cardiovascular disease, kidney problems and some types of arthritis.”
She is not a big supporter of bisphosphonates, although she does support the use of the hormone calcitonin in some individuals. In her Ultimate Bone Support formula, she recommends DAILY including:
- 500 mg Strontium (stimulates bone-building and slows bone loss
- 300 mg Hops Extract (saves healthy bone from being broken down)
- 400 mg L-lysine (links collagen fibers for a sturdy foundation)
- 800 IU Vitamin D3—decreases bone pain and fracture risk.
- 40 mcg Vitamin K2: increases bone density and calcium absorption
- 2 mg Boron—Supports proper metabolism to slow bone loss
- 4 mg Silicon—Promotes bone growth and builds cartilage
- 10 mg Manganese—Promotes bone growth and builds cartilage
- 2 mg copper—helps produce collagen and slow bone loss
- 15 mg Zinc—Enhances bone formation and mineral uptake
(We would also add some Magnesium, as does Dr. Northrup. A high percentage of North Americans are low in magnesium.)
If you are interested in Dr. Fuchs’ supplement program, or anyone else’s supplement program: ***DISCUSS SUPPLEMENTS WITH YOUR MD and OTHER HEALTH PRACTITIONERS BEFORE YOU START TAKING THEM!!!***
http://www.lef.org/protocols/metabolic_health/osteoporosis_02.htm (for further discussion on the micro-nutriets.)
GENERAL TIPS for BONE HEALTH
- Participate in exercises that involve forceful muscle contractions that occur in starts and stops—as in tennis or training with weights. Bones respond to the tug or stress of gravity (positive stress). Swimming and cycling (and traveling in Space!) do NOT provide this (unless one is walking in a pool or body of water.) However, swimming and cycling do provide cardiovascular benefits.
- Walk regularly. Jogging is even better. (if your heart and knees are up to it.) In the famous Nurses’ Health Study: “those who walked for at least 4 hours/week were 40% less likely to suffer hip fractures than those walking less. Those who walked 8 hours/week were as unlikely to experience hip fractures as those on hormone replacement.”
- Dr. Vonda Wright, an orthopedic surgeon promotes the need to “bash our bones” through ‘dynamic impact’ exercises such as hopping, jumping rope, or walking rapidly uphill or upstairs. (from NY TIMES 8-12-2013 article by Jane Brody: “Start Early, Building Up Bones with a Little Bashing”)
- And there’s always DANCING!
- Posture, flexibility, balance and strength all affect bone health. If any of the above present an issue–hands-on techniques performed by highly trained clinicians can assess, diagnose, and treat the muscles, bones, joints, nerves and fascia.
- Manual therapies may include myofascial release, soft-tissue mobilization and manipulation. These techniques should be specifically tailored to address individual impairments, restore physical function, and improve performance.
- Another option recommended by Andrew Weil M.D., and Deb Brothers-Klezmer is Feldenkrais. Feldenkrais is designed to improve movement patterns and build better bones. For further information go to www.feldenkrais.com or www.oliviacheever.com
- Consume a diet high in vegetables and whole, unprocessed foods. Eat a wide variety of vegetables, fresh fruits, lean animal proteins: fresh fish, grass-fed beef, beans, nuts, seeds, healthy fats like avocados.
- Avoid sugar and processed chemicals.
- Rotate the whole grains. Try brown rice and quinoa, don’t just rely on wheat.
- Eat a more alkaline diet vs acidic diet. Vegetables are alkaline-producing. Coffee, alcohol, sugar and processed foods/chemicals are acid-forming. .Alkaline foods are more in alignment with overall health. An overly acidic diet is associated with inflammation and disease.
- Limit caffeine coffee to 1-2 cups/day (5-10 oz total—small cups!!!)
- Alcohol: no more than 1-2 drinks/day. (1 drink = 1.5 oz hard liquor, 4-5 oz wine, 12 0z beer)
Dr. Leon Root, orthopedic surgeon and author of the book BEAUTIFUL BONES WITHOUT HORMONES discusses how one can consume more calcium in the diet naturally—with careful choices.
Try to get at least 500 mg Calcium per day naturally FROM FOODs. It is quite do-able if careful choices are made.
Possibly add 500-700 mg of calcium supplements to the 500 mg from foods.
TOTAL = to 1000-1200 mg Calcium/day
SOURCES of CALCIUM in the DIET
- Milk: 1 cup, ~290 to 300 mg
- Yogurt: 1 cup, ~240 to 400 mg
- Egg: ~55 mg, in a medium-sized egg
- Cottage Cheese: 1/2 cup, ~80 to 100 mg
- Ice Cream: 1/2 cup Ice cream and frozen milk desserts, ~80-100 mg
- Powdered Fat-free Milk: 1 teaspoon, ~50 mg
- American Cheese: 1 oz, ~165 to 200 mg
- Swiss Cheese: 1 oz slice ~270 mg
GREENS and other Vegetables
- Broccoli: 1 cup, ~80 mg
- Kale: 1/2 cup, ~90 to 100 mg
- Okra: 1/2 cup, ~70 mg
- Turnip Greens: 1/2 cup cooked, ~ 100 to 125 mg
- Spinach: 1 cup cooked spinach, ~300 mg; 1 cup raw spinach, 30 mg
- Alfalfa Sprouts: 1 cup raw Alfalfa sprouts, ~11 mg
- 1 single boiled or raw artichoke, ~5 mg
- Asparagus: 1/2 cup boiled, ~ 21 mg 1 raw asparagus spear: ~ 3 mg calcium; 1/2 cup canned asparagus, ~18 mg of calcium.
- Canned Bamboo Shoots: 1 cup, ~11 mg.
- Beets (Canned): 1 cup, ~44 mg
- Carrot (Canned): 1 cup canned carrot juice, ~57 mg. Raw carrots contain ~42 mg calcium in 1 cup.
- Celery: 1 single cup raw celery, ~16 mg
- Cauliflower: 1/2 cup boiled, ~10 mg
- Peeled Raw Cucumber: 1 cup peeled, raw cucumber, ~17 mg
- Eggplant: 1 cup of pickled eggplant, ~34 mg
- Garlic: 1 teaspoon of raw garlic, ~5 mg
- Lettuce-butterhead: 1 cup of raw, shredded lettuce, ~19 mg
- Mushrooms: 1 cup canned mushrooms has ~14 mg
- Mustard Greens: 1 cup of chopped, boiled mustard greens, ~104 mg
- Onions: 1 cup chopped, raw onions, ~40 mg
- Green chillies: 1 cup canned, ~50 mg
- Tomatoes: 1 can of tomato paste (~6 oz) ~94 mg. 1 cup green, raw tomatoes has ~23 mg of calcium. 1 fresh medium tomato, ~12 mg
- Green Beans: 1 cup boiled green beans, ~55 mg
- Potatoes: 1 cup of raw or baked peeled potatoes ~26 mg
- Apple: 1 cup unsweetened juice, ~17 mg. Raw apples with skin, and without skin: ~8 mg and ~6 mg, respectively.
- Avocados: 1 cup of avocado, ~18 mg.
- Banana: 1 cup banana, ~8 mg. If bananas are dehydrated, ~22 mg/cup.
- Grapes: 1 cup green grapes, ~15 mg/cup. American purple grapes, ~13 mg/cup
- Lemon: 1 cup canned or bottled lemon juice, ~27 mg
- Orange: 1 large raw orange, ~74 mg.
- Pineapple: 1 cup canned, unsweetened, pineapple juice, ~33 mg. 1 cup canned pineapple, ~32
- Cherries: 1 cup sour cherries, 26 mg; 1 cup frozen sour cherries ~20 mg calcium. 1 cup sweet frozen cherries, 31 mg
- Cranberries: 1 cup of whole raw cranberries, 8 mg
- Watermelon: 1 cup of diced, raw watermelon, 11mg
- Strawberries: 1 cup, 25 to 35 mg in any form – canned, frozen, or raw
- Pomegranates: 1 single raw pomegranate, ~5 mg
- Apricots: 1 cup dried or dehydrated apricots, ~70 mg; 1 cup raw apricots ~20
- Acai Berries: 260 mg per 100 gm* of acai berry powder (mix into liquids or shakes)
- Mangosteen: 1 cup of mangosteen, ~24 mg
- Goji Berries: 100 grams dried Goji Berries or wolf berries, ~ 65 mg
- Blueberries: 1 cup of blueberries, canned or frozen, ~13 mg
* 100 grams = ~3.3 oz or just under 1/2 cup
NUTS and SEEDS
- Almonds: 12 whole ~ 37 mg
- Sesame seeds: 1 Tablespoon, ~64 mg
- Sesame Tahini spread; 1 Tablespoon: ~64
MEAT, POULTRY, FISH
- Chicken Breast (roasted with skin): 100 grams, ~14 mg
- Lamb: 100 grams roasted, ~20 mg
- Pork: 100 gm of lean roasted, ~25 mg.
- Turkey: 100 gm roasted turkey leg, ~32 mg
- Turkey Hot dog: 1 single turkey hot dog (45 grams), 66 mg
- Sardines: 3 oz, ~325 mg (high in FISH BONES)
- Pollock: 100 grams cooked, ~76 mg
- Perch: 100 grams cooked, ~100 mg
- Herring: 100 gram cooked, ~75 mg
- Ham: 100 grams sliced boiled, ~25
MORE CALCIUM RICH FOODS
- Soy bean: (Soy bean yogurt or tofu) ~150 mg in 4 oz of tofu.
- Soymilk fortified with calcium: 1 cup, ~ 150-300 mg.
- White Beans: 1 cup cooked ~100 mg
- Chickpeas: 1 cup, cooked ~ 80 mg
- Ginger Root/Ginger: ~16 mg per 100 gm
- Almond milk fortified with calcium: 1 cup, ~360 mg
- Orange juice fortified with calcium: 1 cup, ~280 mg
- Engage in physical activity at least 5x for week: ideally for 30-40 minutes per session.
- Do weight-bearing exercises: e.g.,walking, jogging, aerobics, team sports. Walk upstairs carrying packages. Find walks where there are hills to climb. Incorporate hopping and skipping. DANCE! If you are in a pool, do some walking exercises at the end where your feet touch. (Weight-bearing = forces the body to work against gravity.)
- Get enough sleep: 7-8 hours per night.
- Create a “bone safe” environment. Remove slippery scatter rugs. Make sure there are no electrical cords in the way to trip over. Make your house a safe place to walk in!
- Have night lights in or near your bedroom. Or use flashlights, if you don’t want to turn on a light and wake others.
- Wear supportive shoes. (See FOOT article in our July BLOG: https://integratedlifestyle.wordpress.com/2013/06/01/these-feet-are-made-for-walking-step-into-summer/)
- Get regular eye exams and pay attention to depth perception while walking.
- Take care of your teeth. Get regular dental cleanings. Brush and Floss 2xday.
- Don’t smoke.
- Install hand-rails and bars in difficult to walk areas.
STRESS REDUCTION and RELAXATION:
- Excess stress hormones— like chronic production of excess cortisol— can lead to poor bone health.
- Find regular ways to relax—whether it be a regular meditation practice, or just having fun doing something you love.
- Regular physical exercise also produces a state of relaxation to the body.
“Save Your Bones, Save Your Health.” Leon Root, MD
We wish you strong bones that serve you well……into a healthy longevity!
The Wellness Shifter Ladies!!!
Deb and Wendy
- Root, Leon, MD (orthopedic surgeon). Beautiful Bones Without Hormones
- Nelson, Miriam. Strong Women, Strong Bones.
- Fuchs, Nan, PhD. CalciumHoax.pdf (discussion re: appropriate and inappropriate calcium supplementation; alternative supportive therapies for osteoporosis/osteopenia)
- http://www.womenshealthletter.com/Home.htm (Nan Fuchs, PhD newsletter)
- http://www.drnorthrup.com/womenshealth/healthcenter/topic_details.php?topic_id=60 (Dr. Christiane Northrup on Osteoporosis)
- http://www.nof.org/articles/236 “Just for Men” (article on Osteoporosis re:men from the National Osteoporosis Foundation)