Tips on Osteopenia Treatment Alternatives
A decrease in bone mineral density is called osteopenia. The condition occurs most often in two groups of females: post-menopausal and young athletes. Post-menopausal women are at risk of developing osteopenia because of the lack of estrogen in their body. Young athletic women often have low body fat and low weight, which increase the risk of osteopenia. They may also be more likely to suffer from asthma and receive treatment with corticosteroids, which also increase the likelihood of losing bone density. Using alternative methods to treat osteopenia may prevent the sufferer from requiring prescription medications later on or developing osteoporosis.
The first step in treating osteopenia is ensuring that your body has enough calcium to build bone. Eat a varied diet rich in dark leafy vegetables, almonds, tofu and low fat dairy products. Take calcium supplements to reach the recommended amount, which is 1,500 milligrams a day for both young women and post-menopausal women.
Exercise strengthens the muscles, which put pressure on the bones. This pressure encourages the bone to lay down additional cells, strengthening the bone and increasing density. According to the American Fitness Professionals and Associates, strength training is an effective way to stop and even reverse the progression of osteopenia.
Get Some Sunshine
Twice a week, get out in the sun for at least 15 minutes--without sunscreen. This is the minimum amount of sun exposure needed for the body to produce healthy levels of vitamin D, according to the Connecticut Center for Health.
Watch What You Drink
Water, milk and juices are beneficial. Excessive alcohol can lead to a reduction in bone density. Caffeinated beverages decrease the body's ability to absorb calcium, reports the Connecticut Center for Health.
Eat Your Vegetables
Vegetables are a healthy addition to any diet, but are particularly useful for people with osteopenia. A diet rich in vegetables will likely contain the ideal ratio of phosphorus to calcium.
There are several herbs associated with bone health. Horsetail is an excellent source of silica, which is a key component of collagen, and found in bones as well as skin and cartilage. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, it is a common alternative treatment for osteoporosis and osteopenia.
Another herb that may prove beneficial in the treatment of osteopenia is red clover. This herb contains isoflavones which may slow the degree of bone loss, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Try Fish Oils
Omega-3 fatty acids may help the body absorb calcium, reduce the amount of calcium the body loses, and encourage bone growth. Cold-water fatty fish, such as salmon, are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, and supplements are widely available as well.
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