Common methods used in the prevention of osteoporosis include taking certain medications, not smoking, and making sure you get enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet. By following these methods, you can be proactive in your healthcare and help ensure that you have strong, healthy bones for life.
The key to preventing osteoporosis is building strong, healthy bones during the growth and development stages in life -- roughly between childhood and adolescence. By about age 20, the average person has acquired 98 percent of his or her skeletal mass, so past this point, it gets harder to build stronger bones.
There are several factors a person should consider in order to optimize bone health. These osteoporosis prevention steps include:
- A balanced diet rich in calcium and vitamin D. In most cases, 1000 milligrams of calcium per day is recommended.
- Weight-bearing exercises. Young people who exercise regularly achieve greater peak bone mass (maximum bone density and strength) than those who do not.
- A healthy lifestyle with no smoking or excessive alcohol intake. Smoking and alcohol are linked to bone loss.
- Bone density testing and medication. These may also be recommended by your healthcare provider if you are at high risk for developing osteoporosis.