Bones are incredibly important, providing structure and support for all parts that form the human body.
When bones become brittle, a person finds that they become weaker.
The bones that are part of the body also play an essential role in keeping organs in their place, while also protecting each organ, along with other tissues.
Keeping the bones healthy is important. This can help prevent serious complications due to weak and brittle bones.
It also becomes helpful in older age, preserving physical functionality.
Learning how to improve bone health is the first step to take.
In this post, we look at various factors that affect the well-being of bones and natural methods to improve bone health and bone density.
Why Is Bone Health Important?
The human body consists of numerous bones, fitting together to give the tissue a supportive system.
Three different skeletal systems are part of the body. They include the appendicular skeleton, the auditory ossicles, and the axial skeleton.
Each bone plays a specific role in the body. Various tissues connect to the bones, forming a network that allows the body to move and be mobile.
One of the most critical reasons why bone health is important is the role that the bones throughout the body play in maintaining structure.
Bones are also part of our locomotion. When the body does not have bones, it means we will not be able to move around – whether that includes moving the body from one location to another or picking something up.
Bones are also made up of different cells. Each cell plays a specific role in maintaining bone health and ensuring the bones can function as they should.
The main cells that are part of a bone include:
A cell that sits inside the bone. The primary purpose of the osteoblast cells is to help form additional bone tissue.
This is another cell that resides inside the bone. The function of the osteocyte cells is to help keep the living tissue of the bone healthy.
A large cell that is created inside bone marrow. Unwanted tissues that enter the bone are absorbed and then removed with the help of these cells.
Also residing in the bone marrow, this helps produce platelets, white blood cells, and red blood cells.
When a person fails to attend to their bone health, then they run a risk of developing certain conditions. Osteoporosis is a particular condition that we need to focus on here. This particular condition causes the bones in the body to weaken, making them brittle.
People with osteoporosis will often find that the vertebrae of their spine become affected by the disease. This can result in severe back pain in advanced stages, making it significantly harder for individuals to conduct their day-to-day activities.
Osteoporosis is a degenerative disease that causes bones to continue weakening over time. The disease can lead to long-term disability as well.
The major factor that we need to consider here is that osteoporosis is not considered completely curable. While treatments help slow down the progression, once the condition develops, it won’t be reversible.
This is why it is so important for people to attend to their bone health – preferably from a young age. When a person ensures they take appropriate measures to keep their bones healthy, they can effectively reduce their risk of osteoporosis and other conditions affecting bone health and density.
What Affects Bone Health?
Several factors can adversely affect bone health. It is important for the general population to have a good idea of these factors. This way, they will get a better idea of lifestyle and health factors that may adversely affect their bones. We look at some of the most critical elements that affect bone health below.
People living sedentary lifestyles have a much greater risk of developing osteoporosis, along with several other conditions that affect the bones.
Bones tend to grow significantly weaker at a faster rate among those individuals who sit for prolonged periods with no physical activity.
Dietary habits also have a significant role to play in bone health. People who consume an excessive amount of alcohol, for example, may find that their bone density suffers in the process.
The same goes for those who use tobacco products. Similarly, take note that poor dietary choices, in general, can deprive the body of important nutrients that are needed for maintaining bone health.
Another important factor that affects bone health is a person’s age. Older age is generally associated with a greater risk of bone-related conditions. Most conditions that affect bones tend to be diagnosed among senior citizens.
There are certain imbalances in hormones that may also have a role to play in bone health. In some cases, such as with thyroid diseases, bone mass can reduce.
During menopause, estrogen levels in the female body decline, which can also impact a person’s bone mass.
There seem to be genetic factors affecting the risk of bone-related conditions too. If a person has a family history of conditions like osteoporosis, then there also appears to be a greater risk for the individual to develop the disease themselves.
Weight has an impact on bones, too. If a person has excess weight in their body, then they put more stress on the bones.
This can eventually result in faster wear and tear of bone tissue, resulting in bones being brittle and prone to injury.
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10 Natural Ways To Improve Your Bone Health
There are some situations where a bone density test may show a need for medical interventions, such as if the individual has a fracture risk.
Many natural options exist for those who simply want to attend to their general bone density and improve bone health altogether.
We take a look at 10 natural strategies that help reduce the risk of low bone mass, while also assisting in keeping bones strong and healthy.
1. Strength Training
A good strategy to improve bone health is to work out. Physical activity helps to strengthen bones and also improves the well-being of the surrounding tissue, such as muscles, that offer extra support for bones throughout the body.
In addition to strength training, people should also consider participating in weight-bearing exercises. A weight-bearing exercise also enhances muscle strength, providing extra support for bones. Start slow and gradually increase the intensity to avoid causing injury.
Calcium is known for playing a significant role in bone health. In fact, it is considered the most important nutrient that bones need.
Aim to obtain between one and 1.2 grams of calcium daily for optimal bone health. Calcium absorption does need to be taken into consideration.
Spread the intake of calcium throughout the day. You only need a small amount to ensure optimal calcium absorption.
Vegetables are high in various minerals and vitamins that play important roles in the body. By including multiple vegetables, a person can effectively improve their intake of vitamin D, calcium, and powerful antioxidants.
One study shows a 20% reduced risk for the development of osteoporosis by increasing vegetable intake.
4. Collagen Supplements
Calcium is not the only nutrient that plays a part in bone health. Collagen also has a vital role to play in the development of healthy bones. This is actually one of the primary proteins that make up bones.
A collagen supplement provides the body access to proline, lysine, and glycine, all of which are classified as amino acids.
5. Avoid Very Low-Calorie Diets
Weight loss is important for people who have excess fat in their bodies, but lowering calories too much can harm the body.
Eating too few calories causes the metabolism to slow down and ultimately results in a loss of muscle mass. These adverse effects can also affect bone mass.
About 50% of bone tissue consists of protein, making protein an excellent natural way to preserve bone health.
Studies have also shown that a protein deficiency can negatively affect calcium absorption.
Magnesium is another important mineral that bones rely on, along with calcium. The primary role that magnesium plays is in the maintenance of bone density.
Furthermore, it has also been found that a diet high in magnesium may effectively reduce a person’s risk of developing osteoporosis later in life.
8. Vitamin D
People often associate vitamin D with the skin, but it plays a role in many other body parts. A diet that includes a sufficient amount of vitamin D can enhance calcium absorption.
Some research suggests that vitamin D protects against osteoporosis and osteopenia.
9. Weight Management
Weight reduction is also a good strategy, as this helps reduce the extra stress that overweight or obesity can put on bones. You can use several healthy strategies to achieve weight loss.
Make sure that you’re still gaining a sufficient combination of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and healthy fats to support your entire body.
10. Lifestyle Choices
By changing certain lifestyle factors, it is also possible to experience a reduction in the development of weak bones.
For example, quitting tobacco products might help improve peak bone density. Moderating alcohol consumption can also help reduce these risks.
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When To See A Doctor
While there are natural ways to improve bone health, it is important for a person to understand when to see a doctor. Learning how to improve bone health may be important, but you may need medical intervention when an existing condition affects factors like bone density.
Problems like a vitamin or mineral deficiency, for example, can often be detected through a series of tests issued by a medical professional.
These professionals can also conduct tests to identify the bone mass of the individual. It becomes easier for the individual to determine if they have healthy bones, or need to be concerned about low bone density.
The best way to determine whether or not there is a need to see a doctor is to consider any specific symptoms that the person currently has. If the person has weak bones, they may experience a broken bone regularly. Bone fractures are even more common among individuals with weak bones.
In cases where osteoporosis develops, bone formation may be adversely affected. This means the individual may need medical treatment to assist in managing a condition that has developed.
It is also important for the individual to identify specific symptoms that signal a bone disease. This can help to ensure diseases are detected at an early stage, improving the efficacy of a treatment program.
It is important for individuals to know how to improve bone health, especially as they grow older. Numerous factors have been involved in preserving bone density over the years.
Failure to attend to bone health results in brittle bone tissue, increasing the risk of injury, fractures, bone loss, and even disability at an earlier age.