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COLUMN: How old are your bones?

This is a question we ask many of our patients at Academy Medical Pharmacy. This week our focus is on bone health. Having good bone health is really important as you grow older to prevent any broken bones.
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This is a question we ask many of our patients at Academy Medical Pharmacy. This week our focus is on bone health. Having good bone health is really important as you grow older to prevent any broken bones.

Did you know 1 in 3 Women and 1 in 5 Men will break a bone due to Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a disease in which your bones lose mass and become weaker which can lead to an increased risk of broken bones. Losing bone mass occurs without you even knowing, with no symptoms until a broken bone occurs and by that time it is harder to recover bone mass.

Did you know that fractures caused by osteoporosis are more common than heart attack, stroke and breast cancer combined?

So how can you prevent Osteoporosis?

Your risk of osteoporosis may be reduced by knowing your risk factors and taking action.

Treatment of osteoporosis includes lifestyle changes and if needed, prescription medication. Calcium and Vitamin D are important contributors to good bone health, getting an adequate amount along with physical activity are lifestyle changes you can do on your own.

Your diet is the best source of calcium, however if you are not able to get enough in your diet, you can consider taking a calcium vitamin instead. When starting on a calcium vitamin it is important to remember to start at a low dose and slowly increase it until you reach the amount you want added.  Although some foods have vitamin D added to them, it can also be absorbed in your body through sunlight. 

Direct exposure of the arms and legs to sunlight for 5-10 minutes allows your body to make Vitamin D each day.

Fun fact: Don’t forget your sunscreen when you go outside! Studies have found that normal usage of sunscreen does not limit your body’s ability to make Vitamin D

How much Calcium do YOU need?

The amount of calcium that is required by your body depends on your age. Take a look below to see how much calcium you should have in your diet!

Age

Recommended intake of elemental calcium each day

4-8

800mg

9-18

1300mg

19-49

1000mg

50+

1200mg

 

What foods have Calcium in them?

Milk isn’t the only food that you can get your daily amount of calcium from, check out the table below to see other foods that have calcium!

Food

Portion size

Amount of calcium

Milk (2%, 1%, skim, chocolate)

1 cup

300mg

Plain Yogurt

¾ cup (175ml)

332mg

Cottage cheese (2%, 1%)

1 cup

150mg

Whole wheat bread

2 slices

40mg

Fortified Orange juice

1 cup

300mg

Rice or Soy beverage

1 cup

300mg

 

Let’s do some Math!

For example:

Your age= 45

Recommended intake of calcium= 1000mg

If you were to have the following foods in a day it would meet your daily requirements:

=1 cup of milk (300mg) +  ¾ cup of yogurt (332mg) + 1 cup of orange juice (300mg) + 2 slices of whole wheat bread (2x40mg=80mg)

=1012mg of calcium/day

 

Tip: Don’t forget to follow Canada’s food guide regarding other foods you should be eating daily as well!

Where can you find more information about osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis Canada is the leading source of information on osteoporosis in Canada, check them out at www.osteroporosis.ca.

To learn more, our pharmacy team has a great Bone Density Osteoporosis Program with a bone density ultrasound device that can estimate how old your bones are, bone density, and determine fracture risk.

This appointment takes ~20 minutes where a trained pharmacist will provide info on diet, exercise, medications, and supplements! Our team can be reached at 807-344-2282!

-- Rachelle Laurin, RPh



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