Take calcium, eat foods rich in vitamin D, exercise and don’t smoke – tips for osteoporosis sufferers

PARIS, October 20 (EUROPA PRESS) –

Consuming calcium, eating foods rich in vitamin D, exercising and avoiding smoking are the recommendations of the Spanish Society of Rheumatology (SER) for patients with osteoporosis, a skeletal disease characterized by reduced bone density that affects an estimated 2.5 million people in Spain. people over 50 years old.

“The main source of calcium in the diet is dairy products.
Although this is well known, people often wonder if low-fat dairy products have less calcium or if all cheeses have the same amount of calcium. It is important to know that skim milk products provide the same amount of calcium, and the most calcium-rich cheeses are aged cheeses. Generally speaking, an adult needs about one gram of calcium per day for healthy bones,” experts say.

This goal can be achieved, for example, with a liter of milk, but there are other sources of calcium that can help meet daily needs, such as nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts), legumes (white beans, peas, chickpeas), fish . (canned sardines with bones), vegetables (watercress, broccoli), seeds (sesame) and tofu.

It is also recommended to spend 10-15 minutes in the sun every day on the face, hands and arms, although the production of vitamin D in the skin depends on the season, latitude, time of day, skin color, age and sun exposure. protective creams.

For example, a study in Valencia showed that 10-20 minutes around midday in spring and summer (7 minutes in July and 30 minutes in October) are sufficient to obtain the recommended daily dose of vitamin D, taking into account the exposed body surface area, depending on the season of the year. On the other hand, in winter, from November to February, it would take almost two hours. Thus, in winter, the estimated average dose of vitamin D synthesis in the skin is only a quarter of the recommended dose.

However, diet can also help meet daily needs by eating foods fortified with vitamin D (dairy products, cereals and margarine) and eating oily fish. Therefore, it is advisable to include salmon, sardines, tuna and mackerel in the diet, as well as egg yolks, certain mushrooms, especially those that are exposed to ultraviolet light, such as brown mushroom or crimini, and animal liver, such as beef or lamb liver.

Similarly, adequate protein intake is essential not only for bone health, but also for the maintenance of muscle mass, which is an important factor in preventing the risk of falls. In addition, a healthy diet is recommended, including fruits and vegetables that contain vitamin K (green leafy vegetables, vegetables such as broccoli and fruits such as kiwi) and magnesium (green leafy vegetables, pumpkin and flax seeds, almonds). Food should also contain zinc and especially vitamin B.

It is also advisable to perform physical impact exercises on the ground to maintain good musculoskeletal health. Thus, the most advisable exercise is walking, running or low-impact aerobic exercise (if the patient’s health condition allows), and jumping is not recommended for patients with vertebral fractures and should be replaced by walking to reduce excessive impact on the spine.

Non-land cycling or swimming are highly recommended for general health but have little effect on maintaining bone mass. Exercise programs typically include 20-30 minutes of regular exercise 2-3 days per week, always tailored to the patient’s characteristics.

The most recommended exercises are isometrics, stretching and spinal straightening exercises to strengthen the upper back. High impact exercises and exercises that involve a lot of bending and twisting of the trunk should be avoided. You should also be careful with activities that may require these positions, such as golf, tennis, bowling, and certain yoga positions.


On the other hand, it is advisable to improve balance with programs that include 3 hours per week of targeted physical exercise.
It has also been suggested that regular practice of Tai Chi can improve balance and body image awareness, thereby helping to reduce the number of trips, falls and loss of balance in the elderly.

In addition, it is recommended to remove all objects that could facilitate a fall, such as carpets, electrical and telephone cords, from the osteoporotic patient’s environment. It is also recommended to ensure good lighting at home, ensuring light enters the bedroom and hallway, as well as using non-slip mats in the bath or shower. It is also important to wear appropriate footwear, avoiding high heels, soft slippers and shoes with slippery soles.

Avoidance of sedative-hypnotics is recommended, as old age, poor sleep and their use are often associated with and increase the risk of falls and fractures through mechanisms related to cognitive and psychomotor impairment. All this leads to weakened coordination, changes in balance and gait.

Caution should also be exercised when using psychotropic, antipsychotic, and antidepressant medications, and antihypertensive medications should be adjusted accordingly, as they have been associated with the development of hypotension and syncope.

Another piece of advice is to avoid tobacco use, as a direct link to reduced bone density has been described, and not to drink too much alcohol, as chronic and heavy consumption is associated with dual effects. harmful: increases the risk of falls and decreases bone mineral density.

Finally, if you have suffered a fracture that was not caused by a collision, sports or car accident, it is recommended that you consult a doctor. Diagnosis and treatment will help prevent new fractures.

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