Food is fuel. It not only provides you with the energy you need to function, it also becomes the building blocks you use to create strong, healthy structures. Think of your body like a building. A building made with thin, brittle frames and support beams isn’t able to withstand harsh outside forces. In the same way, if your body’s foundation and frame are not strong, you are less protected from accidents and damage. You need good nutrition to fight conditions like osteoporosis.
Brittle, Breaking Bones
Osteoporosis is a thinning of your skeleton. Over time, bone tissue is broken down and not replaced quickly enough to balance out the effect. Your skeleton becomes brittle and fragile. This can make you significantly more prone to fractures than normal. This is a serious problem for your feet, which must absorb heavy forces of pressure every time you take a step. If your skeleton is not strong enough to support your body under most normal circumstances, you could develop multiple fractures in your body’s main foundation, impairing your mobility and possibly leading to deformities. Sometimes stress fractures in your feet are actually the first sign of a problem in your skeleton.
However, what you eat regularly can have a positive impact on your bone formation and repair. Putting an emphasis on good nutrition for your feet can help you counteract the thinning and improve your bone density. Your body needs particular minerals and vitamins to produce bone tissue. Calcium and vitamin D are two of the most important, though potassium, magnesium, zinc, and vitamins A, B, and K also play roles in bone health. Protein serves as a vital building block as well. Weight lifting and resistance training for your body—especially your lower limbs—can also improve bone density.
Feeding Your Bones
Most of the time, osteoporosis is discovered when doctors are investigating other problems, like fractures. Diagnostic images reveal thinning and weakness. Specialists, like our staff here at Parker Foot & Ankle, can then help you develop a plan to improve your nutrition for your feet. Most likely you will need to change your diet and add some impact or weight-bearing exercises to your regular routines.
You’ll need to consume foods with high level of calcium and vitamin D. Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt typically have plenty of calcium and may be enhanced with vitamins. Some grains and green vegetables may have small amounts as well. Cod liver oil, fatty fish, and egg yolks are naturally rich in vitamin D, though you also get some from exposure to sunlight. Lean meat and legumes are rich in protein. Colorful fruits and vegetables contain a variety of the other minerals and vitamins you need. At the same time, you should avoid food that limits bone production. Salty substances, processed meats, and some canned goods signal the body to discard the much-needed calcium instead of using it to repair bones.
Hard impacts and weight-bearing motions are also an important part of building up bones in your feet. With some help from Dr. Robert Parker to devise a program that is safe for your lower limbs, you should begin exercises that force the feet and ankles to support weight and pressure. The stress signals to the body that it needs more bone tissue and helps encourage increased density.
Osteoporosis damages your skeleton and compromises the strength and stability. It can turn simple activities into risks for fractures. Don’t wait to seek help for your bone health. If you’re concerned about thinning bones or have pain or weakness in your feet or ankles, contact Parker Foot & Ankle in Houston, TX, for an appointment or more information. Call (281) 497-2850 or fill out the website contact form to reach us.