Unfortunately, as our age increases so does our risk for many age-related ailments.
One of the many conditions those who are 50 plus start worrying about is the weakening of their bones.
And for many… the price paid from a decrease in bone density and deteriorating bone tissue is the risk of easily broken bones.
About 10 million people in the U.S. suffer from this condition… and 34 million more are estimated to have low bone mass which puts them at risk as well.
You’ve probably seen the many TV commercials or magazine ads promoting prescription drugs that are usually prescribed by doctors to help prevent bones from weakening and keeping them strong… it’s hard not to.
But you’ll notice that these ads are generally geared toward women.. and in fact… most people think of the problem of weakening bones to be strictly a woman’s problem.
And while it’s true that more women have this problem overall (especially in post-menopausal)… the truth is that men can get it too – particularly older men.
In fact… men account for about 2 million or 20% of Americans who have this condition… and 12 million more men are still at risk.
What makes low bone density and weak bones so devastating is the potential for bone fractures. A person can’t feel their bones getting weaker, so they won’t know they have a problem until they actually break a bone. And these types of fractures can really lower a person’s quality of life.
For example… something like a hip fracture can start a downward spiral with someone’s health and cause a total loss of mobility… and the dark reality is that some people never recover.
It turns out that one in four men over age 50 will have a fracture at some point in their remaining lifetime due to weak bones. What’s more, while the rate of hip fractures is higher in women, men are twice as likely to die from them than women.
So what puts men at higher risk for this bone-weakening dilemma? Here are some of the typical reasons.
- Low levels of the sex hormone testosterone
- Chronic illnesses that affect the kidneys, lungs, stomach and intestines and changes hormone levels
- Excessive alcohol use
- Low calcium intake
- Lack of physical exercise
Now that you know the risk factors are… there’s plenty you can do to preserve bone health. Here are some steps you can follow that are recommended by experts from major organizations such as The National Osteoporosis Foundation and John Hopkins Medical Center.
- Recognize and treat any underlying medical conditions that affect your bone health. Identify medications you are taking that are known to cause bone loss and discuss with your doctor.
- Change any unhealthy habits… you know the ones… Smoking, excess drinking, lack of exercise.
- Get enough calcium each day. The NOF recommends men under 50 take 1,000 mg of calcium a day, and men over 50 take 1,200 mg.
- Get enough vitamin D. Men under 50 need 400 to 800 IU daily, and men 50 and over need 800 to 1,000 IU daily.
- Exercise regularly with weight bearing exercises where bones and muscles work against gravity. A few good examples are walking, climbing stairs, or tennis. Also, strength or resistance training may help to preserve bone density. Old-fashioned calisthenics such as sit ups, push ups, pull ups, lunges, and squats are the best kind of resistance exercises because all you need is your own body weight.
- Strengthening your core also helps. That means strengthening your abdominal muscles. Strong abs help you keep your balance… and studies show that improving strength and balance are key to preventing falls which can cause damage to your bones.
It’s important though, to check with your doctor before you begin any exercise program.
- Have your doctor check your testosterone levels. As you now know, low levels are a risk factor for bone density problems. And testosterone helps protect a man’s bones.
In the meantime, here are a couple of things that you can do to keep your testosterone levels up.
o Eat cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. They contain a substance called diindolylmethane (DIM) and indole-3-carbinol. Together they can help your body break down and get rid of the excess estrogen that’s throwing off your testosterone levels.
o Skip the extra carbs and stick to protein. Too many carbs can spike your insulin and pack on the pounds which can effect your testosterone levels.
o You can also try a natural herbal supplement like Tribulus Terrestris. It’s been used for centuries by ancient healers as a natural performance enhancer and testosterone booster. Study after study confirms that taking Tribulus Terrestris regularly can increase your testosterone levels, and without any dangerous side effects.
So, if you want to stay strong and keep moving for years to come – take good care of your bones!
Best Life Herbals Wellness Team
Best Life Herbals