My mother’s latest check up revealed that the suspicious “hot spots” on her bone scan are not metastatic lesions (thank God!). Instead, it’s a bone disease consistent with age and since its asymptomatic, she will not be taking medications for it.
Last December, my mother-in-law slipped and there was no improvement on the condition of the damage to her bones that today, she successfully underwent surgery to put another steel brace in her other leg.
This got me thinking that we rarely pay attention to our bone health. Emphasis is more given to controlling cholesterol count, blood sugar count, etc., but we just neglect examining our bones. I only started drinking milk a few years back.
About ten years ago, I visited a bone specialist because of my consistent back pain. After a series of tests, I was diagnosed with scholiosis. According to my doctor, there wasn’t anything I can do about it because with my age that time, my bones were not growing anymore to correct the disorder. Then, he said, since the span of time was quite long already with only a slight disfigure of my spine, I could live with it since the disorder was not progressive. Even then, he instructed me and showed me some back exercises to do to make my spine stronger [which I did not follow, unless my back ached].
Due to the bone issues in the family, I read around on the matter of bone health. I saw this post at supermarketguru informative:
You’ve heard it before – but taking care of your bones is critical; and while we all know the bone strengthening benefits from consuming lots of dairy products, and fruits and vegetables, there is a lot more you should know.Diets that are significantly high in protein (like many low-carb diets) can lead to loss of calcium in the body’s system. It was shown in a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that vegetable protein helps to retain more calcium in the bones than animal protein. While fish and reduced fat dairy products don’t seem to be a problem, other animal protein should be limited to 10 to 20 percent of your daily calories from protein if you are concerned about your bone health.
Diets that are high in sodium can also lead to a loss of sodium in the urine, especially in postmenopausal women. A good rule to follow is to avoid adding salt to your foods and try to avoid as much high sodium fast food and processed foods that you can – and always read that label to see just how much sodium is in the foods you are eating. The new recommended guideline for most healthy Americans is to consume less than 2,400 mg a day of sodium.
The European Journal of Nutrition recently found that two glasses of soymilk a day was protective in preventing bone loss. This is thought to occur because the phytoestrogen compounds in soy known as isoflavones prevent the loss of bone. Soy of course can be obtained from other soy foods such as tempeh, edamame (green soybeans), tofu, and soy nuts. Soy supplements from a synthetic isoflavone have not shown any bone benefit though, and may reduce the number of white blood cells in some people.
Moderate consumption of alcohol has also been shown to increase bone density, although drinking too much leads to lower than normal bone density and fractures. That is because high alcohol intake can inhibit your ability to absorb calcium. In the elderly, drinking causes a loss of balance and can therefore increase the risk of falling. So moderation is key, and that means no more than two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women.
Caffeine should be consumed in moderation if you are concerned about bone density. The consumption of more than 400 mg of caffeine (the equivalent of four 6-ounce cups of coffee) has been linked to lower bone density in women and a higher fracture risk. This may be caused by caffeine blocking calcium absorption. A good alternative is tea, because it has less caffeine and may actually increase your bone density. Tea (black, green, or oolong) may strengthen bones because of flavonoids and fluoride that naturally occur in tea.
And for those heavy soda drinkers – here’s a warning – many studies report that carbonated soft drinks also increase the loss of bone.
Hope this post will get you thinking about your bone health too!