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Preventing Osteoporosis: Avoiding Bone Loss

Certain factors can speed up bone loss or decrease bone growth. For example, alcohol, cigarettes, and certain medicines reduce bone mass. Some foods make it hard for your body to absorb calcium.

Image of wine, beer, soda, coffee, cigarettes,cigar, and cocktail with red circle and slash on top indicating don't use.

Things to avoid

Here are things to avoid to help prevent osteoporosis:

  • Alcohol. This is toxic to bones. It is a major cause of bone loss. Heavy drinking can cause osteoporosis even if you have no other risk factors.

  • Smoking. This reduces bone mass. Smoking may also interfere with estrogen levels and cause early menopause.

  • InactivityNot being active makes your bones lose strength and become thinner. Over time, thin bones may break. Women who aren't active are at a high risk for osteoporosis.

  • Certain medicines. Some medicines, such as cortisone, increase bone loss. They also decrease bone growth. Ask your healthcare provider about any side effects of your medicines, and how to prevent them.

  • Protein-rich or salty foods. Eaten in large amounts, these foods may deplete calcium.

  • Caffeine. This increases calcium loss. People who drink a lot of coffee, tea, or soda lose more calcium than those who don't.

© 2000-2018 The StayWell Company, LLC. 800 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.