Keeping Strong Bones

English: An osteoporotic elderly women in Japan.

English: An osteoporotic elderly women in Japan. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

May is Osteoporosis awareness Month.

How to increase my bone density? This is a frequently asked question in my practice. Preventing osteoporosis requires more than just taking Calcium. Here are a few tips on how we can take care of our bones.

Body pH: A typical North American diet consists of acid forming process food and not enough fruits and vegetables. An acidic pH can also occur from emotional stress and toxic overload. When the body becomes acidic, it will try to compensate for the acidity by using alkaline minerals, (such as  Calcium). A landmark Swiss study (published November 2012) verifies that alkalizing your net acid load builds bones and reduces risk of fractures among healthy adults.

4 simple ways to alkalize your diet

  • reduce or eliminate soda or sugary drinks
  • eat 7-8 servings of fruits and vegetables a day (lots of GREEN)
  • squeeze a fresh lime or lemon into your water
  • reduce or limit animal protein

Vit D: I recently went for my physical and also requested a Vit D test. To my surprise, I was very low in vitamin D. Vitamin D testing may not be necessary a routine test done by your family physician unless you have a history of osteoporosis or if it is suspect you have osteoporosis. We know the importance of Vit D in bone health among other things. Low Vit D has also been associated with a wide range conditions such as severe asthma in children and cognitive impairment in older adults. So check your Vit D.

Calcium and Vit K2: It’s not all about Calcium. While Vitamin D helps with Calcium absorption by the body, Vit K2 helps to guide the calcium to the teeth and bones. Meanwhile, your body can only absorb Calcium ion. If you calcium supplement consists entirely of calcium carbonate, not only is it poorly absorbed, there is evidence to suggest that it may even weaken your stomach acid over time.

Exercises: Weight bearing exercise is also critical for building strong bone. New research shows that exercising with a weighted vest can improve bone density by 11% in the hip.

Posture: Forward head posture and an uneven pelvis would increase unwanted stress in the osteoporotic bone. Therefore, proper posture will help to improve balance and reduce risk of fracture.

The best way to look after ourselves is to treat our body as a whole, rather than treating the condition, symptoms or only the disease. When we take care of our body as a whole, we often find that other problems will likely go away as well.

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