According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, more than 44 million Americans who are aged 50 and older suffer from osteoporosis and/or low bone mass. While some risk factors of osteoporosis cannot be changed, such as age and genetics, there are other ways you can help to build stronger bones and prevent osteoporosis in your life.
Good Bone Health Starts with Calcium
When it comes to bone health, one of the most vital nutrients is calcium. However, calcium doesn’t just play an important role in bone and muscle health, adequate calcium intake is also critical when it comes to our health, as it helps for blood to clot, as well.
If you do not get enough calcium into your diet, you put yourself at a higher risk of suffering from not only osteoporosis, but a higher risk of fractures as you age, too. Therefore, it is important to understand how much calcium you need each day to ensure you are growing and maintain healthy bones with each passing year.
How Much Calcium Do I Need?
The recommended daily allowance for calcium is 1,000 mg/day for people ages 19-52 and 1,200 mg/day for Americans 52 years of age and older. Fortunately, through a healthy, balanced diet, you can help your body to be able to absorb adequate amounts of calcium into your diet daily.
And good news for those people who are lactose intolerant, there are other ways other than dairy products that are great sources of calcium. This way you can have your calcium without the stomach upset associated with dairy.
Good sources of calcium include:
- Fish like sardines, perch, salmon, and rainbow trout
- Milk or soy milk
If even after eating a balanced diet daily you are still having issues with calcium, calcium supplements might be recommended by your physician to help your body ensure it is getting the adequate amount of calcium for strong bones and your overall health.
Do I Have a Calcium Deficiency?
If you are having issues with obtaining enough calcium or your body doesn’t absorb calcium as it should, you might be suffering from a calcium deficiency, also known as hypocalcemia.
Signs of hypocalcemia include:
- Brittle nails
- Easily fractured bones
- Memory loss
- Muscle spasms or cramps
- Tingling or numbness in your hands, feet, and/or face
If you feel you might be suffering from a calcium deficiency, speak with your physician who can obtain blood work to see how well your body is absorbing calcium.
Do you feel your bones are not as strong as they used to be when you were younger? Do you feel your body is not absorbing calcium like it once did? Make an appointment with the orthopedic team at UAB Medical Westtoday to learn how you can start on the road to stronger bone health!