Weight loss can increase the risk of bone loss and
osteoporosis. Because of concerns about heart disease, diabetes and other
medical problems linked to obesity and excess weight, people are generally
urged to lose the extra pounds. The benefits of weight loss usually are greater
than the risks. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect your bones
while losing weight.
regularly. Include both weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercises
to help support your bone health. For people trying to lose weight, it is best
to lose the weight gradually and to exercise regularly as part of a weight loss
program. Exercise not only helps you lose weight, but it helps maintain bone
- Be sure
to eat a balanced diet. A balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits,
vegetables and calcium-rich foods will help you meet your nutrition needs. It
is especially important to get enough calcium and vitamin D. While protein is
important for health, a very high protein diet causes an additional loss of
calcium through the kidneys. Getting an adequate amount of calcium will offset
smoking and drinking too much alcohol. Remember that both smoking and
drinking too much alcohol are harmful to the bones. To keep your bones healthy,
don’t drink more than two - three alcoholic drinks a day. Also, inactivity and
a sedentary lifestyle can cause bone loss.
- Find out
which weight loss program is right for you. Talk to your doctor or other
healthcare provider before you start to diet. Ask for guidance on a weight loss
diet that is appropriate for you.
- Set a
realistic target weight. People with low body weight are at greater risk
for osteoporosis, so aim for a moderate goal. In older women and men, some
studies have shown that a weight loss of 10 percent or more also places them at
greater risk for breaking a hip.
- Ask if
you need a bone density test. Talk to your healthcare provider about
whether a bone density test should be done before you start and/or during your
weight loss program. It will help you find out if an osteoporosis medication
should be considered to support bone health during and/or after your diet.
This answer should not be considered medical advice...This answer should not be considered medical advice and should not take the place of a doctor’s visit. Please see the bottom of the page for more information or visit our Terms and Conditions.
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