Bone decalcification: what can you do about it yourself?

If more bone tissue is broken down than is created, the bones become more brittle and osteoporosis can develop. This increases the chance of sustaining a bone fracture. Osteoporosis can have a number of causes, such as menopause, insufficient exercise or an incorrect diet. Most people know that you need to get enough calcium for healthy bones. What else can you do to prevent osteoporosis?

The bone tissue

Contrary to popular belief, bone tissue is not dead tissue. There is a continuous process of breaking down and building new bones. For this, the body needs sufficient nutrients, of which calcium is one of the most important. Exercising puts stress on the bones, making the bone tissue stronger. From the average age of 30 onwards, bone tissue will gradually become less strong. That is why older people often experience complaints such as shrinking, crooked walking and back pain in the lower back.

Bone decalcification

If more bone is broken down than is created, there is osteoporosis, also called osteoporosis. This makes the bones more brittle and porous, making the bones weaker and more likely to break. Bones will also shrink, causing the vertebrae to collapse. It usually only becomes a problem in people at an older age. For some people it already becomes a problem.

Causes

Besides old age, there may also be other causes for osteoporosis. In particular, women who have had low bone content since birth experience accelerated bone loss after menopause. Other causes of osteoporosis include poor diet, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, insufficient exercise, excessive weight loss, such as in anorexia, exercising so vigorously that menstruation ceases, use of certain medications such as corticosteroids (adrenocortical hormone) and some diseases, such as diabetes. hard working thyroid gland.

What can you do yourself?

Unfortunately, osteoporosis cannot be cured, but you can prevent it to a large extent by working on strong bones from an early age. Basically, it means that you should eat calcium-rich food, exercise regularly, moderate alcohol, salt and caffeine, stop smoking and maintain a healthy weight. The exercise does not have to be very intensive; walking, cycling or swimming is sufficient. Activities that involve carrying your own body weight are preferred to build strong bones. Avoid activities that put you at high risk of falling so you don’t break bones. Even if you have osteoporosis, it is important to do something to prevent further osteoporosis.

Calcium

Sufficient calcium (lime) in the diet is very important for strong bones. For example, depending on age, children have 500 to 1200 mg. calcium needed per day. Adults have an average of 1000 mg per day. calcium required, people over 50 1100 mg. and people
over 70 1200 mg. Important sources of calcium are: dairy products, vegetables, legumes and nuts. A varied diet, with approximately 2 to 3 portions of dairy products and a few slices of cheese daily, contains sufficient calcium.

Vitamin D

In addition to calcium, vitamin D is also important for strong bones. This vitamin is produced by the body itself under the influence of the ultraviolet radiation of the sun on your skin. It is important that vitamin D is also sufficiently present in the diet because the influence of sunlight is not always sufficient. Foods that contain a lot of vitamin D are: oily fish, such as eel, herring, salmon and mackerel. Meat, dairy and eggs also contain vitamin D, but considerably less than the mentioned fish types. This vitamin is also added to low-fat margarine, margarine and baking and frying products.

The resources

Food that contains a lot of calcium and vitamin D is preferable, but tablets can be a supplement for people who consume little or no dairy products. Enriched foods with extra calcium, for example low-fat margarine, are a good alternative. Below are some more resources you could use.

Dietary supplements

Strong bone supplements contain various forms of calcium, such as calcium carbonate , calcium citrate , and calcium gluconate . It is important at what time they are taken and with what food it is combined. It is probably better to take several small doses rather than a large dose at once. For the correct amount of calcium, you can consult a doctor, pharmacist or dietician. Too much can lead to urinary tract stones, overactive thyroid or calcification of the kidneys and blood vessels.

Herbal remedies

Certain plants such as soy, linseed, red clover and black cohosh contain substances that resemble female hormones (estrogen). This would slow down bone loss in women after menopause. However, this has not been proven, but some women benefit from it.

DHEA

DHEA ( dehydroepiandrosterone ) is a precursor to male sex hormones such as testosterone and is made by the body itself. DHEA may have a beneficial effect on bone development in women. The disadvantage of this drug is that there is an increased risk of breast cancer. In the Netherlands, DHEA may only be sold with a prescription, but it is often offered via the internet. Be careful with this.

When to go to the doctor?

If you suspect that you have osteoporosis, it is wise to see your doctor. The suspicion may arise because you suddenly become shorter in a relatively short time, start to walk crooked or suffer from chronic back pain in the lower back. It is also wise to go to the doctor if you have been taking so-called corticosteroids, such as prednisone, for more than three months and are not receiving prevention against osteoporosis.

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