How can I help prevent bone loss as an older adult?

David Slovik, MD
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism
At 65 years or older, bone loss has tapered off for women. Estrogen deficiency is no longer the primary thief of bone; decreased absorption of minerals plays a significant role. But for men, bone loss has speeded up. Regardless of your sex, you are still losing bone as you age. To help prevent bone loss, consider these suggestions:
Increase your calcium intake and get plenty of vitamin D. The recommended intake of calcium is 1,000-1,200 mg. Make sure that you accompany it with adequate vitamin D to enhance absorption.
Keep up your exercise routine. It's necessary not only to preserve bone, but also to maintain muscle mass, which helps protect bones should you fall. Exercise also helps improve balance and lessens the likelihood of falling. Consider learning tai chi or another type of exercise that improves balance and coordination.
Consider medication. Now you have more choices than ever before. Some are used for prevention and treatment, while others are for treatment only. Each has its own benefits, risks, and side effects. You may want to talk to your doctor about whether you should take a preventive medication and, if so, which one may be best for you.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.