By Lisa “T.I.” Soluren, Contributing Writer

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Photo Credit: Blausen.com staff. “Blausen gallery 2014”. Wikiversity Journal of Medicine. DOI:10.15347/wjm/2014.010. ISSN 20018762. (Own work) [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Silent! This powerful adjective describes the path of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a common bone disease that causes the bones to become brittle and fragile. The development of osteoporosis is a gradual process, and the symptoms of the disease are unidentified until after the age of 50. The best practice for osteoporosis is prevention. As young females, we believe that we are invincible and fail to practice healthy lifestyle choices. If you desire to live healthy and age gracefully, you must exercise healthy lifestyle choices now. Remember, prevention is the key to osteoporosis. Here are five easy recommendations to prevent osteoporosis:

1) Know your risk factors. There are two types of risk factors: modifiable and unmodifiable. Unmodifiable risk factors are age, family history and frame — these cannot be changed. Modifiable risk factors are diet and exercise, and can be changed.

2) Consume your daily recommended amounts of calcium and vitamin D. Vitamin D recommendations for adults less than 50 years: 5 micrograms daily. Calcium recommendations for adults between 19-50 years: 1,000 milligrams daily.

3) Engage in regular weight-bearing exercise to build strong bones.

4) Avoid smoking, excessive alcohol and limit your intake of carbonated soft drinks.

5) Get tested! Have a bone mineral density test or your height measured regularly to ensure adequate bone health.

References:
Institutes of Medicine (IOM) http://www.iom.edu
National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) http://www.nof.org/
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Bone/Osteoporosis/osteoporosis_ff.asp