Your skeleton is your frame. Without it, your body has no structure—you would simply be a lump. Your bones have to be strong enough to support your body weight and the force of your activities. If they aren’t dense, you risk fracturing something when you’re active. This is the problem with osteoporosis: thinning bones can’t handle as much strain as healthy ones can. Fortunately, good nutrition habits can help prevent problems with thinning bones.
Snapping the Skeleton
Your body requires certain nutrients to be able to build bones. If you don’t receive enough, you aren’t able to construct dense tissues. This becomes a serious problem as you age, especially if you develop osteoporosis. This disease results in the progressive loss of bone tissue. Normally your body does lose some skeletal mass as you get older. When you have osteoporosis, though, you lose it significantly faster than it can be repaired or replaced over time, leaving you with weakened, brittle bones.
This makes you significantly more vulnerable to fractures. Weight-bearing structures like your feet are particularly at risk. Because they support your entire body weight and have to absorb the shock of your steps, having brittle bones is dangerous. One step could be all it takes for you to break your foot, resigning you to weeks in a cast to recover. Maintaining healthy skeletal structures is an important part of your lower limbs health and mobility.
The nutrition you consume is particularly important for your bones. Calcium, vitamin D, protein, and a few other vitamins and minerals—like the B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, vitamin A, and vitamin K—are necessary components in hard tissue creation and maintenance. Your body uses calcium as a building block to form and thicken bones. Vitamin D allows your body to absorb the calcium so it can be used. Protein helps preserve bone density as you age. The other miscellaneous nutrients play smaller roles in your skeletal construction, but without them, your body wouldn’t be as strong.
Consuming sufficient amounts of the nutrition you need to build dense bone tissue is vital for preventing osteoporosis. It’s particularly effective for children whose bodies are still growing; however, eating with bone health in mind as an adult still has positive affects for skeletal mass and strength. Dr. Evan Merrill will be able to examine your bones and check for any early damage that could compromise your lower limbs. Our team of specialists will also advise you about nutritional habits and exercises that can improve the effects of osteoporosis.
Eating the right foods, while avoiding kinds that either inhibit bone production or encourage its destruction, can help you keep your skeleton strong. You’ll need to consume plenty of high-calcium foods, like milk, cheese, and yogurt. Many dairy products are infused with vitamin D as well, while egg yolks and fatty fish oils are naturally rich in the substance. Lean meats and legumes are packed with important proteins. Fresh fruits and vegetables also have these nutrients, as well as the supplementary vitamins and minerals your body uses to build and repair bone tissue. On the other hand, high sodium causes your body to discard calcium instead of keeping it. You’ll need to avoid products with high salt content, like pickles, canned or processed meats, salted potato chips, and other sodium-added products.
Bones also thicken under stress, so carefully controlled high-impact or resistance exercises may be good for your feet as well. Lifting weights and running strain the skeleton enough to stimulate your body to lay down thicker bone. Our team can help you establish a foot-safe program that will allow you to exercise without injuring yourself.
Thinning bones from osteoporosis are a serious problem. When your skeleton isn’t strong enough to support your body, you lose mobility and stability. You don’t have to wait until you’re suffering with repeated fractures in your feet to do something about the problem. In fact, if you do, you risk permanent damage! Instead, contact Southern Oregon Foot & Ankle, L.L.C. here in Medford, OR, for more information or an appointment to take care of your lower limbs. Call (541) 776-3338, or use our website contact form to reach us.