Let's have a chat about Osteoperosis. Here are the most staggering facts about osteoporosis that I found while researching from The Recall Center, Mayo Clinic and WebMD:
- Over 10.2 million adults have Osteoporosis and another 43.4 million have low bone mass
- This disease accounts for more time spent in the hospital than diseases like diabetes, heart attacks and breast cancer
- One out of every two women and one in four men over 50 will have an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime. The most serious osteoporotic fractures are hip fractures.
- The majority of those who experience hip fractures will require assistance in their day-to-day lives. Twenty percent of seniors who suffer a hip fracture die within a year.
- Nearly 75% of all hip fractures occur in women.
- Osteoporosis accounts for more time spent in the hospital than diseases like diabetes, heart attack and breast cancer among women over 45.
- Hip fractures cost more than $11 billion each year (approximately $37,000 per patient) (hello student loan amounts)
- When osteoporosis becomes severe, it can lead to fractures and a condition called kyphosis. Kyphosis is spinal compression, sometimes described as the "dowager's hump." Both fractures and kyphosis can be very painful.
- Osteoporosis is often called the "silent disease," because most of the time, bone loss occurs without any symptoms at all.
These facts are really freaking scary! So what can we do to make sure we aren't old ladies with broken hips that cost more than out of state college and require live-in assistance to perform daily tasks? According to the Mayo Clinic there are 3 simple ways to prevent this disease:
1. Adequate amounts of calcium
- Men and women between 18 and 50 need 1,000-12000 milligrams of calcium each day.
- 1 cup almond milk = ~450 milligrams of calcium
- 1 serving Greek Yogurt = 350 milligrams calcium
- Dark green leafy veggies (kale, spinach, etc) = ~30 mg calcium per one cup
2. Adequate amounts of vitamin D (helps your body absorb calcium)
- We need around 600-800 IUs/day
- 1 cup almond milk = 100 IU of vitamin D
- Salmon = 199 IU/half filet (also think tuna, mackerel, other fatty fish)
- 1 Egg (with the yolk) = 260 IU
- We should get more than 90 percent of our vitamin D from casual, daily sun exposure
- The human body is able to produce as much as 10,000 IU to 20,000 IU of vitamin D3 in just 30 minutes
- It always comes back to exercise right? One of the benefits of exercise is that it builds the amount and "thickness" of our bones (esp in teen years, but it's not too late for us!) aka "bone mass and density", and slows bone loss
- The best types of exercises for preventing osteoporosis are weight bearing, flexibility, and resistance.