Pharmaceutical treatments that reduce fracture risk can do a lot to stop bone loss and even reverse it, but they are not designed to work without calcium. In fact, they do their best work as part of a holistic treatment program that emphasizes a healthy diet of calcium and vitamin D and safe, weight-bearing exercise.
Take your calcium (and vitamin D) — Although it is best to get the calcium you need through your diet, it can be difficult to meet your daily requirements if you are not a big fan of dairy foods. So, you may need a calcium supplement. Fortunately, most calcium supplements also contain vitamin D that helps your body to absorb the calcium. Make sure you are actually getting enough calcium and vitamin D. You don’t need to break the bank with an expensive brand that claims to be highly absorbed. Calcium carbonate or calcium citrate works fine. Just take them—every day.
Exercise — Weight-bearing exercise is important. Walking is ideal to maintain bone mass, but you must add a load of 4 times your body weight to stimulate bone building. Exercises that focus on improving balance, such as yoga and Pilates (with some restrictions) can help prevent falls. Resistance exercise-working with free weights, machines, or stretch bands-is great too. But be careful. Avoid any exercise that involves forward bending (flexion) or twisting or increases your chance of falls, walking on icy surfaces for example.
Take your medicine as directed — Some medications require that you to have no food in your stomach, take them with water only, and wait 30 minutes before you eat. Ask your pharmacist.
Be patient — Get enough calcium, vitamin D, and exercise every day. Your bones didn’t become weak overnight, and they won’t improve overnight, either. The key to stopping bone loss and building bone is to be consistent.
There’s no doubt that drug treatments can do a lot to improve the health of your bones. Just be aware that your lifestyle is also a big part of the picture. If you have any concerns or questions, talk to your doctor, or contact us at American Bone Health by asking questions on our website or calling (888) 266-3015