We have been told since childhood that strong bones were essential to our health. We were told to drink milk and workout and eat our vegetables. However, today Americans still have high rates of Vitamin D deficiency, as high as 20% in healthy individuals and over 80% in obese, African American individuals. Vitamin D deficiency increases with age and with chronic medical conditions and can lead to the weakening of bones. In more than 20 studies it was shown that adequate Vitamin D was associated with a reduction in falls and ultimately prevention of osteoporotic fractures. Diet is partially to blame for this as most of our Vitamin D is sourced from dairy and orange juice and fortified cereals but other important sources such as fish are not eaten as frequently. It is commonly known that osteoporotic bone leaves an individual susceptible to hip fractures, but other complications can include ankle fractures, muscle weakness and healing complications involving surgical fixation of bone. Women are affected at nearly double the rate of men and increased age plays a role in the development.
Protecting your bones is possible and the following recommendations will help you save your feet and ankles from a future of instability and fragility.
- Eat fish (cod, tuna, salmon, swordfish), fortified orange juice, dairy, and eggs as part of a healthy diet
- Maintain a body weight as close as possible to the healthy range for your height
- Spend 15-20 minutes outside in the sun daily
- Talk to your doctor about Vitamin D supplementation, which improves levels in nearly 65% of individuals
- If there is a risk of Vitamin D deficiency (former/current smokers, those with malabsorption such as celiac patients, those with liver disease, and those on anticonvulsants), see your doctor for Vitamin D screening
- Perform daily strength, resistance and weight bearing exercises to maintain strong bone architecture
Your bones have to last as long as you do. The more you can do to improve Vitamin D levels and bone structure, the stronger your hips, ankles, and the bones in your feet will be as you age.
Please visit our website for more information or call 614-885-3338 (FEET) to schedule an appointment with us at our Columbus or Gahanna office