May is National Osteoporosis Month and with nearly a quarter of the bones in your body being located in your feet we at Long Island Foot & Ankle Group, PC want our patients to aware of this important facet of foot health. The word osteoporosis means porous bone. Patients with osteoporosis have bones that are weakened either because their bodies lose too much bone, make too little or both. Currently, about 54 million Americans have been diagnosed with weakened bones. Osteoporosis is most common in people over the age of 50 and, in fact, studies estimate that one in two women and up to one in four men in that age group will actually break a bone as a result of this disease.
Cause and Prevention
There are many medical conditions associated with osteoporosis. It can also be caused by taking certain medications. If you have broken a bone in your foot or ankle and you are over the age of 50, talk to one of our podiatrists, Dr. Russell Caprioli, Dr. Mary Ann Bilotti, Dr. John Haight or Dr. Marzana Mleczko, about possible factors that may put you at risk for osteoporosis.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help increase the strength of your bones. Here are a few to consider:
1. Be sure you are getting enough calcium and Vitamin D. Your doctor can tell you the correct amounts for you, depending on your age and sex. Good sources of calcium include dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese and also some leafy green vegetables such as broccoli, bok choy and kale. Certain foods like juices and cereals may be fortified with extra calcium. Vitamin D is necessary to help your body absorb calcium. Your body gets Vitamin D from spending time in the sun and also from foods such as, certain fatty fish like mackerel and tuna and foods fortified with the vitamin.
2. Avoid smoking and don’t over use alcohol.
3. Participate in regular exercise of both the weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening varieties.
4. Find out if a bone density test is appropriate for you and follow the recommended schedule for having your bones checked.