Sports Medicine
A Crucial Period
Good Pain, Bad Pain
On Your Knees
Secondary Injuries
Imaging Technology
What's Sciatica?
The Female Athlete
Putting Your Feet First
Itis Schmitis
Too Much, Too Soon
Under the Influence
What's Goin' On?
Think Inches, Not Pounds
Preventing Vaginitis
That Painful Pull
Athlete's Heart
Exercise & Arthritis
Chilled to the Bone
Measuring Body Fat
Exercise and Your Breasts
Choosing a Sports Doctor
Lean on Me (Shoulder)
Exercise & Anemia
Exercise Abuse
Pelvis Sighting
Hand Aid
It's All in the Wrist
Back in Action
Altitude Adjustment
Tennis Elbow, Anyone?
Exercising in the Heat
Agony of the Feet
Restless Legs
Night Time Cramps
Birth Control Concerns
No Periods, No Babies?
Post Partum Prescription
Weight Loss Mystery
Undesirable Cooldown
To Brew Or Not To Brew
Fitness After Baby
Biking and Back Pain
Swimmer's Shoulder
A Hidden Athlete
Avoiding Osteoporosis
Drug Testing
Maximum Heart Rate
Headway Against Headaches
Torn Rotator Cuff
Fat Figures
Bloody Urine
Sag Story
Lackluster Leg
Bothersome Bulge
Gaining in Years
Taking It On the Shin
Aching Ankles
Hoop Help
Tender Toes
Meals For Muscle
Growing Pains
Hot Tips
High Altitude PMS
Personal Bests
Air Pollution
Ankle Blues
Heartbreak Heel
Yeast Relief

Avoiding A Diagnosis Of Osteoporosis

Preventing "dowager's hump" begins at a young age.

Q : A few years ago my wife developed a "dowager's hump" while still in her mid-50s and we started reading up about osteoporosis.

Could you discuss which calcium formulation is best and the role of vitamins and other minerals in the prevention of osteoporosis? Are there any exercises that will specifically strengthen the upper back so as to postpone or prevent dowager's hump?

Alexandria, Virginia

A: Preventing osteoporosis is a lifelong activity. Exercise and calcium intake during childhood and the years after puberty until age 35 are most critical in achieving the maximum amount of bone density for an individual.

During this critical time, most American women are seriously deficient in calcium intake. The average intake is around 550 milligrams a day, whereas 1,000 to 1,500 milligrams are needed to maintain and develop proper bone mass. If less calcium is ingested than is needed by the body for muscular contraction and other activities, it will be drawn from the bones.

Calcium, like other minerals, is absorbed rather selectively by the body. It appears that calcium is best absorbed from food sources rather than from the widely advertised tablets. Children and teenagers need 1,200 to 1,500 milligrams of calcium a day, menstruating women need 1,000 milligrams a day, and non-menstruating women need 1,500 milligrams a day just to remain in "neutral calcium balance."

For a rough rule of thumb, an eight-ounce glass of milk or two ounces of hard cheese will provide 300 milligrams, a cup of yogurt provides 400 milligrams, three and a half ounces of tofu gives you 150, three ounces of canned salmon has 150, three ounces of sardines with bones has 372, and a half cup of broccoli provides 136 milligrams.

What is the best way to get your daily supply of calcium?

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Table of Contents

Foreword: Billie Jean King

Comments by Barb Harris
Editor in Chief,
Shape Magazine

General Health
Common Medical Problems
Dental Health
Infectious Disease
Sexual Health
Emotional Well-Being
Eating Disorders
Alcohol & Other Drugs
Environmental Health

The information in this web site is for educational purposes only and is not providing medical or professional advice. It should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. If you have or suspect you might have any health problems, you should consult a physician.

Copyright 2000 - Sports Doctor, Inc.