Ensuring that we have strong and healthy bones is pivotal to our wellbeing. With over three million people in the UK suffering from poor bone health-related conditions, it is more important than ever to start looking for the signs and symptoms of weaknesses. Strong bones help to protect vital organs, provide support for muscles, and supply minerals to the body.
However, whilst good bone health is important for men and women, women are more likely to experience poor bone health later in life. Thin or weak bones increase the chance of fractures and can cause Osteopenia and Osteoporosis. These two conditions are both centred around the bone density and the likelihood of incurring breaks or fractures. Some women naturally have a low peak bone mass because of hormones and development, and in fact, white and Asian women are more prone to Osteoporosis than women of any other ethnicity.
A majority of women have smaller frames than men, meaning they are more susceptible to breakages or problems; however, the oestrogen hormone helps to protect women’s bones. When a woman reaches menopause age, oestrogen naturally decreases, therefore, the chances of developing conditions like Osteoporosis are increased. To compound the issue, when it comes to measuring bone strength it is often difficult to tell how strong your bones are. So, what causes poor bone health, and how can you ensure that you are looking after your bones and preventing unnecessary damage?
Spotting A Decline In Your Bone Health
From the age of 30 and upwards our bone health will naturally start to decline. Whilst this is all perfectly normal and happens to everyone, there are some signs and symptoms of advanced bone thinning that you need to watch out for. Two key indications of poor bone health are loss of grip strength and receding gums as a result of a weakened jaw. Nail and bone health are also often linked, but weak nails can also be a sign of various other conditions, so this is not always a reliable way to tell.
There is no proactive approach or any routine procedures for testing for Osteoporosis or Osteopenia. Typically, a patient would only obtain an insight into their bone density if triggered by a fracture. If someone fractures easily, then this is an obvious sign. Otherwise, you would only know from scans or tests. A DEXA scan is the most common bone density scan used in the UK. So, if we cannot physically feel our bones naturally weakening how we can make improvements to keep them strong?
The Importance Of Vitamin D
Those living in less sunny climates are often more likely to suffer from poor bone health, as vitamin D helps the body to absorb Vitamin C, and in turn calcium. This is also one of the major factors as to why people can suffer from poor bone health during the winter months, generally having access to less sunlight and therefore vitamin D. In some cultures and religions, some women have less access to vitamin D due to the clothes they have to wear or because their diet limits calcium intake.
You Are What You Eat
Our micro-biome has been proven through studies to impact bone metabolism. Taking Magnesium, Vitamin D and Vitamin C supplements, as well as prebiotics, can help us absorb and retain minerals from food to increase bone density and strength. There are also lots of foods that are great for bone health, these are tinned fish, wild salmon, milk, cheese, and for those who would rather not eat animal products, green leafy veg such as broccoli, cabbage and kale (sorry, but spinach doesn’t count), figs, tofu and nuts are also examples of great sources. More and more dairy-free milk alternatives are fortified with vital vitamins, but it’s worth getting into the habit of checking the packaging to make sure.
Lifestyle And Exercise
There are simple lifestyle changes that you can implement to help with your bone health. Consuming less alcohol, quitting smoking, and eating foods high in calcium will help to boost your bone health. Exercise should also be incorporated into your daily routine. Examples of exercises that are good for bone health include walking, dancing, low-impact aerobics, elliptical training machines, stair climbing and gardening. These types of exercise work directly on the bones in your legs, hips, and lower spine to slow mineral loss. They also provide cardiovascular benefits, which boost heart and circulatory system health.
The Earlier The Better
Our bones reach their peak in our 30’s. So, as they say, there’s no time like the present. Making simple adjustments now to reduce bone thinning and protect yourself and your bones through lifestyle, diet and exercise changes. Any head start you can give yourself will pay off in the future. With prevention and new technologies, we can increase our bone strength. The later we leave anything, the harder it is to reverse it, and in a system where we won’t even know if we have Osteoporosis, it is worth keeping on top of our health, not only to look good and feel good but also to prevent these silent diseases.
So taking these tips on board what are you going to add to your daily routine to ensure your bone strength?
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About The Author
Based in Tinwell, Rutland, MBST UK was established in 2011 by sibling partnership Charles and Elisabeth Clare. Having witnessed the incredible success of MBST for a number of years through their mother’s physiotherapy practice, they wanted to share their passion for the revolutionary technology and make it available to people all across the UK.
2021 marks a decade since the company launched, in that time MBST UK has created a flagship physiotherapy clinic providing MBST in Rutland and expanded their community of MBST health professionals to include 11 additional facilities across England, including prestigious Harley Street. 2022 will see a tranche of new clinics joining the MBST family.
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