Calcium can help maintain bone density
and strength. Eat a nutritious diet and be sure you are getting adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D. Bone loss begins
in the mid-30s and increases after the
menopause. Most postmenopausal women should take calcium supplements, being careful not to take too much,
because they do not get sufficient amounts of calcium in their daily
Include low-fat dairy products in your diet. They
are good sources of calcium.
Try to do
moderate activity at least 2½ hours a week. Exercise
reduces bone loss. Weight-bearing exercise, such as walking or running, is the
Begin taking calcium supplements if you are age 40
or older and you get less than 1000 mg of
calcium a day from your diet. Avoid taking more calcium than recommended. High
doses of calcium can increase the risk of
Get sufficient amounts of
vitamin D, which helps the body use calcium. Women can get the amount of vitamin
D they need each day by eating a variety of dairy products. Women who do not
eat a variety of dairy products or who live in northern climates should include
a daily supplement.
Do not smoke. Women who smoke enter menopause earlier and
lose bone at an increased rate during the first years of menopause.1
Avoid excessive use of
For more information on how you can prevent bone loss, see
the topic Osteoporosis.
Although osteoporosis cannot be reversed, it can be prevented and treated in a variety of ways.
There's calcium and vitamin D, both key to bone health. Exercise is another critical part of strengthening bone mass. There are drugs on the market that slow bone loss and even hold promise of building new bone.
WebMD takes a look.