Regular exercise especially weight-bearing can reduce occurance of bone fractures due to osteoporosis. Physical activity requiring muscles to pull on bones cause the bones to retain and, perhaps, even gain density. Unfortunately the severe fatigue and joint pain make it harder for lupus patients to stay active. Joint pain, severe hip and lower back pain, the risk of falling (fractures) are good reasons to avoid jogging. Safer weight-bearing exercises include walking or dancing. Women who walk a mile a day have four to seven more years of bone in reserve than women who don’t. Pool exercise is also effective and less stressful to joints. Many spas now offer a range of "Aquatics" or aqua therapy, therapeutic pool (heated) classes designed especially for participants with joint problems.Some of the recommended resistance exercises include use of free weights, weight machines, or simple rubber stretch bands. From the East tai chi and yoga increase balance and decrease stress. Good balance is a good prevention for falls. Stationary bicycles are good as long as they do not aggravate joints. Arm bikes may be use when knee joints are flared. These are just a few simple suggestions that can improve improve and prevent osteoporosis, as well as maintain the best general health to combat lupus.

The nutrients calcium, Vitamin D, and protein must be supplied and maintained adequately in order to supply the materials the body uses for bone formation, although alone they will not completely stop bone loss. Supplemental calcium should be taken as needed to achieve recommended daily calcium dietary intake. Current recommendations are for nonpregnant, menstruating women to consume 1000mg/day, pregnant women need 1200mg/day, and postmenopausal or nursing mothers should consume 1500 mg/day. Anyone taking corticosteroids should take 1500 mg/day. Since our bodies can only absorb a maximum of 600 mg at a time, dosage should be divided across the course of the day. Vitamin D aids in calcium absorption in the GI tract. In general 400-800 IU per day should be taken daily, but 800 IU daily is recommended for corticosteroid users.
Choose from a broad variety of supplements: calcium carbonate (Calci-Chew, Calci-Mix, OsCal, Caltrate), calcium citrate (Citracal), calcium gluconate, calcium lactate, calcium phosphate (Posture). New tasty chewable supplements (Vivactiv Soft Calcium Chews, Nature's Made Calburst) in appetizing flavors such as chocolate or caramel make taking supplements more enjoyable than the usual large hard to swallow tablet forms. Chewable antacids (Tums, Mallamint) also make some appealing flavors to choose from. They should not contain aluminum and beware of interactions with some prescription drugs. Most calcium supplements include the necessary requirements of Vitamin D as well. Many multivitamins do also. Blood and urine tests can inform your doctor if you are maintaining adequate amounts.

The optimum source of any nutrients come from a balanced diet of foods naturally high in needed nutrients. Foods rich in calcium include low-fat milk, yogurt, ice cream and cheese, tofu, salmon and sardines (with the bones), and leafy green vegetables, such as spinach and collard greens. When choosing calcium rich foods from dairy products be mindful of fat content,. Select from the available low fat and nonfat versions.

Avoid indulging in alcohol or tobacco which both block absorption of calcium and other important nutrients.


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