Fit and Fabulous Over 40


Tips to Help Prevent Hip Fractures

Tips to Help Prevent Hip Fractures
June 15
15:03 2017

As we get older, many of us become less steady on our feet. We also become more fragile, especially older women who tend to suffer from calcium deficiencies linked to having children.

Did you know that worldwide, 1 in every 3 women over the age of 50 will suffer from bone fractures associated with osteoporosis? Additionally, 70% of all hip fractures happen to women and 75% of all hip, spine and distal forearm fractures happen to people 65-years of age or older. As little as a 10% loss of bone density or mass in the hip can increase the chance of a hip fracture by two and half times.

My mother-in-law suffered from severe osteoporosis and ended up with several ribs that broke and would not heal and eventually fell and broke her hip at age 89. The surgery to repair the hip was successful, but her heart just gave out and she died several days later.

So, what can you do to lessen the risk of fracturing a hip?

Here are some helpful tips, some of which you probably already know about and some you may not have ever realized.

  1. Get plenty of calcium. Make sure that the calcium you take is in a form that your body can actually assimilate. Yes, milk has calcium, but the processes that milk goes through before it reaches your grocery store alters much of the calcium, converting it into a form that is difficult for your body to use. The bulk of calcium from milk is passed out of your body in waste. Eat calcium rich foods including eggs, broccoli, fresh fish, cheese, watercress, kale, bok choy and yogurt.
  2. Weight lifting or resistance exercises. Yes, the dreadful E word – exercise. However, not just any exercise will do to help lessen the chance of a hip fracture. It has to be weight lifting or resistance exercises. You don’t have to lift hundreds of pounds, but lifting small or medium weights are important. This type of exercise helps increase bone density which in turn strengthens the bones and reduces the effects of osteoporosis and chances of a hip fracture.
  3. Watch you blood pressure. Not only does high blood pressure increase the risk of heart disease and strokes, but uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to the onset of vertigo. Trust me, I know from personal experience.
  4. Maintain control of your blood glucose. If you have diabetes or a family history of diabetes, it’s important to maintain your blood glucose level at an acceptable range.

I am a type 2 diabetic and have high blood pressure. For nearly two years, I didn’t take any medication nor did I watch my diet. Then one day, I was suddenly struck with a severe case of vertigo. It was so bad I could not stand up nor could I stop vomiting. I found out that the vertigo was brought on by dangerously high blood pressure and blood glucose levels. Even though I have both under control now and take my medications, I still have problems with vertigo under certain conditions and have to watch my movements and sometimes have something to steady myself. I have fallen on several occasions due to being dizzy with the vertigo, but fortunately, I didn’t break anything.

Many women, and men, don’t realize that maintaining their blood pressure and blood glucose can help reduce their chance of falling and suffering a hip fracture.

  1. Get regular bone density scans. These bone scans detect areas where the bones are not as dense and find the signs of osteoporosis. They can also detect the early signs of osteoporosis. If you are told that you have signs of osteoporosis, it’s very important to make sure you take the right kind of calcium and to start doing some weight lifting or resistance exercises – they could save you from suffering a hip fracture and adding a few more years to your life.

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