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Maggie asked...

I have been diagnosed with osteoporosis.

I have recently been diagnosed with osteoporosis in the spine and osteopena in the hips. I don't want to take drugs for the rest of my life and wanted advice on what I can do to either improve density or stop it getting worse.

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The answer

Only you and your doctor can decide whether medications are needed in your particular situation. There are some lifestyle changes that you can make to help prevent further bone loss. Reduce your alcohol intake to within the recommended limits and stop smoking. Both alcohol and smoking are known to cause further bone loss. Eat a healthy balanced diet with plenty of calcium and vitamin D rich foods. It is important to not be underweight, so try to maintain a normal body weight. Exercising regularly (particularly weight bearing exercises such as running and jumping) will help strengthen the bones further.

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