Oftentimes the family caregiver, moms across America make sure that their kids eat a balanced diet. A National Dairy Council survey found that more than nine out of 10 moms agreed that three servings of dairy foods a day decrease the risk of osteoporosis later in life. Yet, less than half of these moms said they themselves have the recommended servings of dairy foods a day. Since 8 million of the 10 million Americans suffering from osteoporosis are women, it is time for moms to start caring about their own diets.
“Osteoporosis is a disease that lowers bone mass and weakens bone tissue,” explains Dr. Anthony Ferretti, D.O., an osteopathic orthopedics specialist practicing in Erie, Pa. “While it’s often considered an older person’s disease, it can strike at any age.”
Dr. Ferretti further explains that the most common injuries from the disease include hip, spine and wrist fractures.
“As an osteopathic physician, many of my patients mistakenly thought I specialized in osteoporosis. Now, they understand that D.O.s can specialize in any area of medicine, just like M.D.s. And every D.O. and M.D. alike is well-aware of the harmful effects of osteoporosis and the injuries that often leave patients unable to move or hospitalized,” he says.
Dr. Ferretti says that many of the contributing factors to this disease are preventable. For example, he advises all of his patients to include three servings of dairy each day in their diet.
“Drinking and eating three servings of low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt or reduced-fat cheese each day can give your body the calcium and vitamins it needs for strong bones,” he says.
In addition, Dr. Ferretti says that exercise can help build and maintain bone density. Weight-bearing exercises are considered the most beneficial. This type of exercise uses the body’s own weight or gravity as resistance. Some weight-bearing exercises that are recommended for strengthening bones are walking, climbing stairs, running, hiking, and weight lifting.
While exercise and three daily servings of dairy prevent osteoporosis, patients also need to stop smoking and limit the amount of alcohol and caffeine they drink, according to Dr. Ferretti. He also says that being underweight increases the risk of osteoporosis. Although patients can control these factors to prevent the disease, there are uncontrollable factors that add to a patient’s risk for osteoporosis.
“A patient’s gender, age and heredity are important elements in assessing his or her level of risk. If the patient is female and her mother had osteoporosis, the risk is very high,” s/he says.
The threat of osteoporosis in females increases 1.5 times every 10 years after the patient turns 30. Other uncontrollable characteristics that can increase the likelihood of this disease include being diabetic; of European or Asian descent; or a chronic use of steroids.
“There are several ways to treat osteoporosis,” says Dr. Ferretti. “ First, I try to help my patients change any unhealthy habits and, in more severe cases, I will prescribe medication.”
To find out if you or someone you know is at risk for osteoporosis, Dr. Ferretti recommends visiting your physician and asking about a bone density screening. The most common test for osteoporosis is the DEXA Scan. The test measures the patient’s bone density as compared with that of normal bones for his or her age.
“It is never too early or too late to prevent osteoporosis,” he says.
Preventive medicine is just one aspect of care osteopathic physicians (D.O.s) provide. Osteopathic physicians are fully-licensed to prescribe medicine and practice in all specialty areas including surgery. D.O.s are trained to consider the health of the whole person and use their hands to help diagnose and treat their patients.
- Ravi Chekka, MD, discusses symptoms of mumps and minimizing risk of contraction
- The Truth on Juice Fasts
- Dr. Eric Milie discusses pneumonia and its symptoms and risk factors
- How to Beat Heat Rash
- Celiac Disease: Living a Gluten-Free Life
- What to Expect When You're Expecting: Managing Severe Morning Sickness
- The Real Harm in High Heels
- Living a Full Life with Fibromyalgia
- Hearing Loss and Headphones – Is Anyone Listening?
- LECOM joins AHRQ Partnership in national health improvement initiative
- Stock up on Fruit for the Winter
- Back-to-School Backpack Safety
- Sorting Out Seasonal Allergies
- Adult Sports - How to Gain with No Pain
- Time for a Flu Shot
- What to Know about Nosebleeds
- Microwaves and Plastics: How to Safely Re-Heat Your Leftovers
- Should Your Child be Vaccinated?
- The Raw Facts About Raw Milk
- Parents Can Prevent Inhalant Use in Children
- Dietary Supplements: The Health Benefits of Pumping Up Your Diet
- Don't Lose Sleep Over Night Sweats
- Winter Brings Chance of Hypothermia
- Be Cautious for the Flu Season
- The Benefits of Eating Breakfast at Dinner
- Managing Migraines
- The Dangers of Distracted Driving
- Living with Diabetes
- Is Your Doctor a D.O. or a M.D.?
- Living Healthy at Any Age
- Shoveling Your Way to Lower Back Pain
- Holiday Gatherings: Perfect Time to Share Family Health History
- Halloween Tricks for Consuming Fewer Treats
- Injuries: To Ice or To Heat?
- The Dangers of Dehydration
- Fitness on the Go
- Exercise for Your Bone Health
- Muscle Cramp - A Common Pain
- A New Year's REsolution to Benefit the Whole Family
- Don’t Hibernate: How to Stay Active and Safe in the Winter Cold
- Battling Boredom in Your Workout
- Bone Up on Osteoporosis
- An Unwanted Rosy Complexion: Rosacea
- Living in Fear: Anxiety Disorders
- At First Flutter: Recognizing an Irregular Heart Rhythm
- Food Allergies: Avoiding a Holiday Hazard
- Matters of the Mind: Keeping Your Mind Fit
- Eye Strain at Work: See the Signs
- Don't Forget About Your Eyes This Winter