LIVING WITH HIV AND BONE DENSITY LOSS
Studies have show that people living with HIV may have reduced bone density; either from the virus itself or from the medications used to treat them. But, all is not lost! Harvard has put out a list of things you can to do to boost your bone-health:
- Monitor your diet. Get enough calcium and vitamin D, ideally through the foods you eat. Although dairy products may be the richest sources of calcium, a growing number of foods, such as orange juice, are calcium-fortified. Fruits, vegetables, and grains provide other minerals crucial to bone health, such as magnesium and phosphorus.
- Maintain a reasonable weight. This is particularly important for women. Menstrual periods often stop in women who are underweight — due to a poor diet or excessive exercise — and that usually means that estrogen levels are too low to support bone growth.
- Don’t smoke and limit alcohol intake. Smoking and too much alcohol both decrease bone mass.
- Make sure your workouts include weight-bearing exercises. Regular weight-bearing exercise like walking, dancing, or step aerobics can protect your bones. Also include strength training as part of your exercise routine.
- Talk with your doctor about your risk factors. Certain medical conditions (like celiac disease) and some medications (steroids and others) can increase the chances that you will develop osteoporosis. It’s important to talk with your doctor to develop a prevention strategy that accounts for these factors.
Learn more about U=U here, and share the article out with your communities. We all have ripples we can make to reduce the impact of HIV in all of our lives, regardless of status.