A-Z of Health W – Weak Bones
In the A-Z of Health post R – Rickets I discussed how rickets is making a come-back. Whilst this is considered a childhood disease and there are many cultural and nutritional reasons why this may be on the rise many adults are not getting the nutrients they need for strong bone health.
For women the term Osteoporosis is often associated with old age and it is true there is a link with age as the menopause has a huge impact (see below) but people of any age can develop osteoporosis at any age and there are of course nutritional and lifestyle links!
- If you are a heavy smoker (I have mentioned in Q – Quit Smoking, smoking is an anti-nutrient, it not only causes damage but it prevents the body from reversing the damage)
- If you are a heavy drinker – alcohol depletes calcium reserves and can interfere with how vitamin D works
- If you are underweight (see blog post U – Underweight)
- If you have used steroid medications
- Family history
- Malabsorption disease i.e. Crohn’s disease
Bone density increases until your 20’s and from age 35 onwards we start to lose bone density. For women at this point hormonally the rate of decline can be accelerated with an early on-set of menopause (<45) – following menopause women can lose up to 20% of their bone density in as little as 5 years!
There are some nutritional links – whilst this may be controversial there are reports that suggest vegans have lower bone-mineral density. This is probably to do with nutrients not being fully replaced when making the switch. It is possible but it is more difficult.
Teenage girls are, in some cases avoiding dairy for misguided fears over weight gain and dairy. When these nutrients are not replaced and instead substituted for diet drinks, it can have a double whammy effect!
- The nutrients are missing
- There’s some studies linking diet fizzy drinks to depleted bone-mineral density but the reports are unclear as to a direct link or just the switch is nutrient devoid
Exercise is one of the best things we can do to improve our bone density and sitting is one of the worst things! We all generally sit too much!
For more information on nutrients for bone-density and general health get in touch for a 1:1, join a webinar or take a look at my book!
About the author of this blog
Louise Mercieca is a multi award-winning author on children’s nutrition with her book ‘How Food Shapes Your Child’ winning the Parenting award in Janey Lee Grace’s Platinum awards. Louise is the host of Early Years TV Food Channel – a channel dedicated to children’s health and nutrition.
Louise has also won a SBS or Small Business Sunday award from Theo Paphitis and was recently crowned as Queen of Child Nutrition in the #Queenof Twitter awards.
Louise has worked as a Nutritional Therapist for 8 years supporting hundreds of clients and does take on a limited number of personal coaching clients each month – contact Louise to discuss this. Louise has also created an accessible and affordable webinar schedule covering many topics discussed in this A-Z post series.