Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is more calcium better:  Recommended daily allowance of calcium for adults is 1000-1200mg per day. For most healthy individuals, there is no benefit to consuming more than the amount of calcium recommended for your age and gender. Consuming too much calcium, particularly from calcium supplements, may be harmful. It is important to speak to your healthcare provider about your calcium requirements and not to consume more that the amount of calcium recommended for you.
  2. Are jogging or running safe for Osteoporosis:  While weight bearing and impact type of exercises are recommended, jogging and running are not considered safe in people with Osteoporosis and could increase the risk for developing a vertebral fracture. Instead brisk walking is a safer option to improve bone density. Consider talking to your health care provider and/or physical therapist to discuss aspects of a safe walking program.
  3. Can Osteoporosis be treated without drugs:  Nutrition that provides adequate amount of calcium is the first step in preventing and treating Osteoporosis. We recommend using a daily calcium calculator for tracking your calcium intake. Physical activity on a regular basis has shown to improve bone density. Your physical therapist can design a safe exercise program for you. Limiting alcohol and quitting smoking will help protect your bones.
  4. Is Caffeine dangerous for bones:  There may be a small decrease in calcium absorption associated with moderate caffeine consumption (up to 300mg of caffeine per day). However, when the recommended amount of calcium is consumed, the small decrease in calcium absorption and increase in calcium output caused by moderate caffeine intake can easily be offset. For example, the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee can slightly reduce calcium absorption but adding a few tablespoons of milk can make up for it.
  5. Do carbonated drinks weaken the bones:  Based on research, carbonated drinks do not affect bone density. However, it is recommended not to substitute calcium rich drinks, like milk, with carbonated drinks like soda.
  6. What type of exercise should I do:  Weight bearing exercises like walking, using free weights and exercise bands are recommended to improve strength, balance and bone density. Stretching exercises to improve flexibility are also helpful. A physical therapist can help in creating a safe and beneficial exercise program for you to improve bone health.
  7. How often should I walk or use weights: You can walk everyday for exercise based on your tolerance. Start with 10-15minutes and go on increasing the time gradually up yo 30 to 45 minutes. Using free weights and resistance bands should be limited to 20 to 30 minutes, 2 to 3 times a week, with at least one day of rest in between sessions.
  8. Can Osteoporosis cause pain:  Osteoporosis is a silent disease and does not cause pain. However, complications like slowly developing hip and vertebral compression fractures can cause pain as a symptom. Bone density scan and/or vertebral fracture assessments are instrumental in diagnosing fractures caused by low bone density.
  9. Does Thyroid medication cause Osteoporosis:  Thyroid medications used to treat Hypothyroidism require adjustment in dosage on a regular basis. As long as correct dose of thyroid medications has been prescribed, there is no risk for developing low bone density.
  10. I am lactose intolerant. What are the best food sources of calcium for me:  Some of the major non-dairy food sources of calcium are as follows: calcium fortified juices, cereals, breads, rice milk, soy milk, almond milk, soy beans, tofu, beans (white, navy, black chickpeas, kidney), almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, sesame seeds, seaweed, kale, shrimp, salmon. Be sure to look at serving sizes and estimate your daily calcium intake through food.