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How do you prevent osteoporosis?

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A well-balanced diet that contains foods rich in calcium, vitamin D and other nutrients may prevent osteoporosis, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Individuals can also prevent osteoporosis with weight-bearing exercises, such as running, and muscle-strengthening exercises, such as weightlifting. The NOF recommends at least 30 minutes of weight-bearing exercises most days of the week and muscle-strengthening exercises at least two days per week.

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Lifestyle changes may also prevent osteoporosis. Excess alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking and cola drinks can increase the rate of bone loss, according to WebMD. Women who engage in high levels of exercise often have eating disorders, low levels of estrogen and thin bones and they fail to menstruate, all of which puts them at risk of developing osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis causes weak and brittle bones, according to Mayo Clinic. Bones go through continuous remodeling. When the breakdown of bone outpaces the rebuilding, osteoporosis develops. The early symptoms of bone loss are silent, but when osteoporosis develops, individuals may develop back pain, loss of height and bones that fracture easily. Those at risk of osteoporosis include women, older adults, sedentary individuals, people of white or Asian descent and people with a family history of osteoporosis or hip fractures. To detect osteoporosis, a physician may recommend a bone density test to measure bone strength. Physicians typically treat osteoporosis bisphosphonates and hormone therapy.

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