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Avoiding Stress Fractures

Low bone density makes people over 65 more susceptible to  stress fractures. 

Stress fractures are a kind of fracture which will partially separate the bone tissues in a fault line which could have been the weakest point in that part of the bone. 

Below are some of the reasons this happens:

  • bone density decreases with age
  • vision and sense of balance often declines
  • reaction time slows
  • muscles weaken with age and inactivity
  • Low levels of sex hormones (testosterone and some forms of estrogen) are associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis.
  • Endocrine disorders (such as hyperthyroidism and gastrointestinal disorders) may interfere with calcium and vitamin D absorption
  • Osteoporosis makes bones more prone to a fracture, even with relatively minor trauma
  • High levels of homocysteine which is a toxic ‘natural’ amino acid linked to the cause of heart disease among other negative health affects

 

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to lower your risk of getting a stress facture. 

  • In order to help bones remain strong it’s important to get adequate levels of calcium and vitamin D.
  • Avoid excessive caffeine intake (over three cups of coffee a day or the equivalent from other foods) because it can interfere with the absorption of vitamin D and calcium which can result in decreased bone density.
  • Avoid smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol can interfere with the normal process of bone building and remodeling, resulting in bone loss.
  • Get regular exercise to strengthen bones and decrease the likelihood of falls.
  • Add more folate to your diet to reduce homocysteine levels. The best way to do this is to consume more fruits and vegetables. Leafy green vegetables are particularly good sources of folate. Beans and lentils also have a high amount of folate in them. With stress fractures being a documented risk as we age, you may want to follow the above suggestions to minimize your risk. 

    Have a healthy day, 

    Larry Berman

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