Some recommended reading: take a look at Miriam Nelson’s series of books on the subject (Strong Women Stay Young, for one). She is a leading researcher in the field of osteoporosis and exercise, and outlines a simple program that’s easy to follow.
Medical Intervention: It may be necessary to include medications in order to prevent further bone loss and increase bone density. Today there are many options available, with new ones on the horizon.
We should make every effort to get calcium from food sources; the mineral may be better absorbed through foods than supplements. Dairy products are excellent sources, with about 300-400 mg in one cup of milk or yogurt. Be sure to choose low or nonfat dairy products to avoid unhealthy saturated fats and unwanted extra calories. Other good sources of calcium include leafy green vegetables like kale, arugula or turnip greens; beans, almonds, figs, salmon with bones, and tofu processed with calcium sulfate. Certain brands of orange juice are fortified with calcium, as well. A calcium supplement, taken in divided doses, is important to “fill in the gaps” where diet may fall short, but not as a primary source of this bone-enhancing mineral.
Got Milk? Hope so. Osteoporosis is a bone-thinning disease that is especially prevalent among post-menopausal women. It can develop for decades without sign nor symptom, until one day, a simple cough causes a fracture.
The good news is osteoporosis is entirely preventable, and to some extent treatable, through lifestyle measures. Even more advanced cases of the disease can be improved through a comprehensive approach that includes diet, exercise and perhaps medical intervention.