Eating a healthy, balanced diet is recommended for everyone. Calcium is important for maintaining strong bones. The recommended intake of calcium is at least 700mg a day. This is about equivalent to one pint of milk. Calcium can also be found in a number of different foods, including green leafy vegetables, dried fruit, tofu and yoghurt.
Vitamin D is also important for bones and teeth as it helps your body to absorb calcium. It can be found in eggs, milk and oily fish. However, most vitamin D is made in the skin in response to sunlight. A short exposure to sunlight, without sunscreen (10 minutes twice a day) throughout the summer should provide you with enough vitamin D for the whole year.
Certain groups of people may be at risk of not getting enough vitamin D. These include people who may be housebound or particularly frail, people with a poor diet or who keep covered up in sunlight because they wear total sun block or adhere to a certain dress code and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
If you are at risk of not getting enough vitamin D through your diet or lifestyle, you can take a vitamin D supplement. For adults, 10 micrograms a day of vitamin D is recommended. The recommended amount for children is 7 micrograms for babies under six months, and 8.5 micrograms for children aged six months to three years. Talk to your GP for more information.
Other lifestyle factors that can help prevent osteoporosis include:
Living With Osteoporosis
If you are diagnosed with osteoporosis, there are steps you can take to reduce your chances of a fall, such as removing hazards from your home and having regular sight and hearing tests.
There are ways to help your recovery from a fracture. This might include:
If you are worried about living with a long term condition, speak to your GP or nurse who may be able to answer any questions you have. Some people with osteoporosis find it helpful to talk to a trained counsellor or psychologist, or to others with the condition.
Want to know more?
You can find more help and advice at the National Osteoporosis Society's website
Osteoporosis: Symptoms and Risks
Diagnosing and Treating Osteoporosis
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