Before May comes to an end we at Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center want to pass on information about a disease that can have a serious impact on your feet (and the rest of your body): osteoporosis. Many people don’t give osteoporosis much thought until after they discover they have it—and that often only occurs when they actually break a bone. However, The National Osteoporosis Foundation reports that approximately 10 million Americans currently have this disease and that another 44 million are at risk of breaking a bone because of low bone density. To help raise awareness about osteoporosis and help patients decrease their risk of fractures here are some myths and facts about the disease:
MYTH: Osteoporosis is primarily a problem for women.
FACT: While it’s true that more women than men are affected by the disease—it’s estimated that one in two women will break a bone from osteoporosis—it’s a concern for men as well. Studies show that one in four men over the age of 50 will also break a bone from osteoporosis.
MYTH: I don’t like milk so there is no way for me to increase my bone strength through diet.
FACT: While dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese are heavy hitters when it comes to calcium, there are other foods that contain high amounts as well. Certain greens, such as spinach, kale, okra and collards, soybeans, and some fish like perch, sardines, salmon and rainbow trout are all also good sources of calcium. Many cereals and juices are fortified with both calcium and vitamin D, which helps your body better absorb the calcium.
MYTH: Other than increasing your calcium intake there is really nothing you can do to increase bone strength.
FACT: There are several ways to help make bones stronger. Exercise—both weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening—helps build bone. Smart life style choices, such as not smoking, limiting alcoholic beverages and maintaining a healthy body weight can all reduce the stress placed on your bones.
MYTH: Foot health is not directly impacted by osteoporosis.
FACT: Did you know that there are 52 bones in a pair of feet—that’s nearly a quarter of all the bones in your body. Having weak bones increases your risk of both stress and regular fractures from daily activities like walking up stairs or gardening. Osteoporosis also means that falls, missteps and ankle sprains are more likely to result in fractures too.
The health of your bones is very much a concern of our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas. Be sure to discuss your personal risk factors with them at your next appointment at our Long Beach office.