Many people might think that a lower than normal bone mass is a woman’s issue, although this is something that is inaccurate, as it’s something that can affect mens health just as much as it does a woman’s, if not more so.
According to a recent study, this is true for men across a variety of age groups and typically affects the hips and a few other areas.
This is a condition known as osteopenia, which is something that can progress into something more serious if left untreated and un-managed, with the majority of this resulting in people being more likely to develop bone fractures.
This advanced condition is called osteoporosis, which is something that tends to affect women somewhat more than men, which may explain why many people believe that it isn’t a mens health problem.
Recent studies have shown that the disease is something that is affecting more men than was originally realized, which means that more and more men will need to start taking preventative action to ensure that the illness doesn’t progress to the point that it starts having a significant impact on their lives.
Because it’s still a relatively unheard of illness, however, many men may not realize how they can prevent it from developing. This doesn’t mean it has to be a complicated process, as there are a few simple things that both men and women can do to stop it from progressively too quickly, or too far.
Calcium & Vitamin D
Calcium and vitamin D are two of the most crucial things that you need for developing strong and healthy bones, which means that you’ll need to have a consistent intake of them, regardless of your age.
While the exact amount that you should have may depend on a variety of factors, such as age, weight, and much more, you can work with a medical professional or dietician to determine this.
While calcium and vitamin D health supplements can be a great way to improve your intake, there are a few different foods and drinks that can boost both of these. Perhaps the most notable products to increase your intake is dairy, although different dairy products will have different amounts of both.
Outside of dairy, fish such as salmon be high in both calcium and vitamin D, so having a regular intake of the meat can be an excellent way to prevent brittle bones, or to help reduce and combat the effects of osteopenia. These should be eaten regardless of whether or not you’re taking medication for the disease.
Other foods that you can include in your diet to help improve your bone strength include:
- Six ounces of calcium-fortified orange juice, which contains between 200 milligrams and 260 milligrams of calcium;
- Half a cup of cooked broccoli, which contains 40 milligrams of calcium, and;
- Egg yolks, tuna and liver, each of which contain high levels of vitamin D.
As we mentioned above, there are also a variety of supplements that you can take to further boost your intake of both of these. However, it should be noted that you shouldn’t overdo it with these supplements, as they can then hurt your overall health.
Medications can often be one of the most effective ways of helping to treat brittle bones, although it’s been suggested that a body may need a certain amount of encouragement to help rebuild the bones.
The primary reason behind this is because a skeleton often needs to be put under a certain amount of stress to grow stronger.
However, you shouldn’t put it under too much pressure, as this will have a detrimental impact on your overall health and well being; it’s recommended that you work with a doctor to determine what kind of exercise routines will be suitable for you, as well as how much you should get in a week.
Some of the more common routines that have been recommended have been light aerobics, jogging, and walking. While swimming may also seem like a natural choice, because it can help with arthritis, it doesn’t offer any advantages for bone strength as it doesn’t put the skeleton under any stress.
Some light weight-based exercises have also been beneficial for your skeleton.
Stop Smoking & Moderate Alcohol Intake
Many people know how much of a harmful impact smoking can have on your health, especially when it comes to your lungs and the development of cancer cells. However, what many may not have realized is that it can also have quite a significant impact on your bones, as nicotine can often be toxic toward them.
Some experts have argued that the adverse effects of smoking in this regard can undo many of the positive impacts that medications may have in treating the illness; as such, it’s often been recommended that you quit smoking to help your bones heal, as well as the variety of other health benefits that it can have.
Alcohol can also hurt your bone strength, which many people may not realize, with some studies suggesting that it results in 2% bone loss per year when done in excess.
This doesn’t mean that you need to give it up completely; instead, you’ll need to limit your weekly intake to one or two drinks per week. The negative effects of alcohol on your bones are compounded if you’re a smoker, with 8% bone loss being a figure that’s come up in a variety of studies.
Talk To Your Doctor
There can be a variety of factors that affect bone strength and density, with osteopenia being just one of these; the likes of certain medications and other factors can often make quite a significant impact.
Because of that, if you’re beginning to suffer from brittle bones, then you’ll need to consult your medical professional as early as possible to determine what this underlying cause is.
When you’re speaking to your doctor, you should also ask a variety of questions, especially when it comes to what kind of medication you should use and what type of side effects that it can have. Lifestyle changes can also play a part in this, with your medical professional being able to answer the majority of questions that you have.
You should also have a bone density test done to determine the extent of the disease’s effect on your body and should be done regularly so that you can see how it’s progressing and whether or not medications and lifestyle changes are helping to combat this.
The majority of experts have noted that you should have these tests done every six months if you’re taking medication for the disease, or have a variety of the illness’ risk factors.
Perhaps the most accurate way that this can be done is with a dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, or DEXA, which is a low-radiation test that shouldn’t take too much time to undergo.
Should you believe that you have brittle bones, or that you’re starting to develop osteopenia or osteoporosis, then you should follow each of the above steps.
As we mentioned, speaking with your medical professional should be the first step in this process, as they’ll be able to work with you to create a plan to reduce the effects of the disease, and hopefully help to reverse much of the damage that may have been done.
In many cases, this approach can vary from person to person, so you may need to look at your overall lifestyle when doing so, which is where many of the above points come into play.