Did you know, people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes are at an increased risk for osteoporosis, the brittle bone disease? Although researchers aren’t entirely sure why, they suspect uncontrolled blood sugar levels and obesity may contribute. Fortunately, you can protect yourself with these steps.
Find out if you need a bone mineral density test. This simple, painless screening is recommended for women ages 65 and older, and for younger women who have risk factors for osteoporosis such as a family history of the disease, early menopause and a small, thin frame, according to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.
Get enough calcium. Besides dairy, foods that contain high amounts of this bone-building mineral include greens like kale or broccoli; grains like chia seeds, quinoa or farro; beans like chickpeas; and nuts like almonds.
Move your body. Weight-bearing exercise (brisk walking, strength-training, stair-climbing) stimulates the production of bone-building cells. Try balance-boosting moves, too, like squats, which strengthen core muscles. Or try standing on one leg from time to time, say, while you’re brushing your teeth or waiting in line at the supermarket.
Find out about supplements. Discuss your calcium intake with your physician and find out if you need a calcium supplement. Ask, too, about Vitamin D, a nutrient your body needs to absorb calcium. It’s found in fatty fish, like salmon, and vitamin D-fortified juices, cereal, dairy and nondairy beverages. And brief sun exposure helps your body produce it.
Seek calm. Tension and anxiety can contribute to bone loss (and spiking your blood sugar!) by releasing cortisol, a stress hormone that blocks the bone-building effects of the hormone progesterone. Try yoga, mediation or listening to soothing music to de-stress.
Sources: DIABETES HEALTH MONITER/ APRIL/MAY 2014 PGS.20-21