If you are living with osteopenia or osteoporosis, there are steps you can take to stay safer and lower your risk for falls and fractures.
What does it involve?
If you smoke, quitting is one of the best things you can do to protect your bones.
Try to limit the number of alcoholic and caffeinated beverages you consumer each day. Alcohol and caffeine have both been found to interfere with calcium absorption, making it harder for your bones to get the nutrients they need. Being under the influence of alcohol also increases your risk for falling.
Maintain a healthy body weight. Being either very thin or very large can make osteoporosis worse and increase your risk for fractures. Talk to your doctor about the healthiest weight for you and how best to reach and maintain it.
If you are at a high risk for fractures, consider fall-proofing your home. Ensure that every room is well-lighted, and that light switches are easy to reach. Make sure Secure any rugs that might cause you to slip or cords you could trip over, and add grip tape or slip-resistant mats to any slick surfaces. Install grab bars inside and outside your bath or shower, next to the bed, and anywhere else you may need extra stability getting up or down. Leave lights on if you will be coming home after dark. If you live alone, carry a phone from room to room or subscribe to a personal emergency response system (PERS) in case of a fall or other emergency.
Outside the house, wear low-heeled shoes with slip-resistant soles. Keep walkways clear of slippery leaves, plants or toys you could trip over, and snow or ice. Use extra care at curbs when stepping down. In icy weather, carry a small back of cat litter or rock salt to sprinkle over walkways. If conditions are very bad, consider using delivery services instead of going out.
If you are unsteady walking, consider using a cane or walker to avoid falls.
Many people who are addicted to nicotine find it very hard to stop smoking.
If people around you smoke, it can be harder to stop smoking yourself and to avoid second-hand smoke.
You may have trouble losing or gaining weight.
You may be reluctant to adopt a cane or walker for fear that it will change how others see you.
For more details about this treatment, visit:
Smoking and Bone Health - NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases ~ National Resource Center
Preventing falls - National Osteoporosis Foundation
Food and Your Bones - Osteoporosis Nutrition Guidelines - National Osteoporosis Foundation