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03 Feb 2009

Dear Doc

I recently underwent a bone density scan. It was found that the bone density in my one hip, leg and elbow was quite low and that i was a prime canditate for Osteoparosis.

How would one go about increasing the bone density without using the conventional HRT medicine available?

Are there other more natural, and perhaps homeopathic products available?
Are there natural foodstuffs that can be taken instead.
And what excercises can one do to aid in the prevention or slowing down of this?

Thank you
Answer 414 views

01 Jan 0001

Hi there

It's quite difficult to increase bone density once you get passed the age of about 30. All the evidence used to suggest that people hit a peak bone density at the age of between 25 and 30, and then gradually lost bone mass from that point onwards. The rate of that loss is very definitely affected by things like diet and exercise, which is why anyone can benefit from exercise - it slows the rate at which bone is lost.

There is some evidence, more recent, that has shown that people can still increase bone mass by doing exercise, if they start out with low bone mass.

I guess it doesn't really matter which of these two scenarios is true, the action you need to take is the same. That is, you have to exercise, get active and look at diet.

There's a lot that goes into this, it's the subject of many books, and I don't want to give you a whole book on it, obviously. But I'd suggest that for the diet, you see a dietician, and have them prescribe some foods. That's really important.

On the exercise side of things, I'm not sure what you have access to. The best type of exercise, without a doubt, is something like walking, because you have to load the bones in order to get the effect. That means that walking and some weight training is best. If you can get to a gym, then it's much more convenient. However, walking is pretty accessible, and may be a good place to start. I'd suggest that you check out the Fitness page of this site, and then click on Programmes, and see what they have to offer. There are a couple of programmes that are walking based, and they'll certainly be helpful for you.

Good luck
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