Your Body

Targeted osteoporosis prevention

In order to control osteoporosis every patient can take preventive measures. The most important goal: Avoiding bone fractures. People who are at risk should start with preventative measures as soon as possible. They should take measures to strengthen their muscles and bones.

Prevention is based on three pillars:

  • Exercise
  • Diet
  • Avoid falling

 

 

Exercise

Regular exercise prevents osteoporosis and strengthens the bones, even after the bone density is already reduced. Exercise also improves muscle strength, mobility and body coordination - the perfect prerequisite for not falling or falling less often. Another benefit: improved quality of life. Patients feel fit, safer and better balanced.

 

There is no need for a patient to become a competitive athlete. Moderate but regular training three to four times a week will help. Select your exercises carefully. Weight training is better than endurance training. Increase your training rate slowly - especially if you have not done any sport for a long time.

Many exercises that involve movement can be integrated perfectly into everyday life. Take the time to go for a walk, for example. The positive side effect: Solar radiation stimulates the body's production of vitamin D in the skin. This stores calcium in the bones and stabilises them.

What helps?

  • Hiking
  • Taking the stairs
  • Going places by foot
  • Dancing
  • Gymnastics to improve coordination, balance, equilibrium and body control: at home or in a course in an osteoporosis support group.

 

What do I need to know?

  • Include regular exercise in your daily routine.
  • Do not overexert yourself.
  • APay attention to a healthy posture.
  • Become active outdoors, in the sunlight, as much as possible.
  • Perform targeted weight training exercises.
  • Train several times a week.
  • Exercising with others is more fun and increases your motivation.
  • Avoid becoming underweight if possible. This reduces muscle mass and has a negative effect on bone mass.

Diet

Apart from regular exercise, the bones need enough calcium and vitamin D, various other vitamins such as A, C, K and B12, as well as folic acid, minerals (magnesium), phosphate, and trace elements (especially fluorine, zinc, copper and manganese). The best way to ensure the body gets this is through a wholesome diet.

What effect does a wholefood diet have on osteoporosis?

    • Prefer foods rich in alkalis, if possible. These include fruits, vegetables, salads, soya and wholemeal products.
    • Ensure you get enough calcium. Emmental cheese, cooked kale, low-fat milk, gouda, cooked spinach, rocket salad, buttermilk, hazelnuts and some mineral waters, among others, contain particularly high levels of calcium. Adults need about 1,000 milligrams daily. If necessary, you can also take calcium tablets that are not too highly dosed (500 milligrams per day) as a supplement.
    • Vitamin D facilitates the storing of calcium in the bones and absorbing it from food. Vitamin D is found in some fatty fish varieties (such as herring, salmon and eel), butter, eggs, liver and mushrooms. Nutritionists recommend a daily additional intake of 20 micrograms or 800 IU. Food supplements can support you in ensuring you get enough vitamin D.
    • Avoid excessive consumption of so-called "calcium predators". These are foods that contain a lot of phosphate (such as "fast food", chips, cola/lemonade, sausage with added phosphate), with oxalic acid (for example in beetroot), and with plenty of table salt (alternatives: herbs, spices, Parmesan).
    • Pay attention to preparing food in a nutrient-friendly manner: fresh ingredients, little water, if possible, steaming instead of cooking.
    • Avoid alcohol and tobacco.

 

Avoid falling

Osteoporosis increases the risk of fractures. They only heal slowly. Therefore, patients should avoid falls as much as possible. The good news: You can make a positive contribution to this.

Special movement training, for example in a self-help or senior’s sports group, helps to maintain muscle mass and physical strength, in addition to training balance and equilibrium. Twice a week, 30 minutes each is enough. What is more, a well-trained body can cope better with a fall, and this helps when rolling after a fall. This way an injury is usually less severe.

Osteoporosis patients can also reduce their risk of falling in daily life:

1. At home:

  • Good lighting conditions, using a night light
  • Non-slip mats for carpets and runners, as well as in bathtubs and showers
  • No raised carpet corners Smooth transitions between different floor coverings No loose cables on the floor
  • Double-sided handrails on both sides of the stairs, handles and stools in the bathroom
  • Mark the edges of steps
  • Use a stepladder instead of a chair when doing the housework

2. Clothing and shoes:

  • Shoes with a firm footing and good grip
  • Comfortable, loose clothing

3. Aids:

  • After consultation with the doctor, use aids that correct a forward inclined body posture, for example sticks, crutches or back orthoses.
  • Check your eyesight regularly and have appropriate glasses prescribed if necessary.

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