Question for Betty.

I am 58 years young, but, in the last few months, my bones have been popping and my left shoulder has a lot of pain and pops a lot.  I drink a lot of diet soft drinks, could this be affecting my bones and joints?

Betty's Answer.

Carbonated water and soda often contain phosphorus (fizz), which does not pose a significant threat to calcium absorption and bone density.  However, if you are drinking a lot of soda, you may be not drinking or eating calcium-rich beverages or foods, and be at risk of not getting enough calcium. Once we reach middle age, our bones start to lose density and women especially are at increased risk of osteoporosis.  You may want to increase your dietary calcium intake with dairy products, dark leafy green veggies and calcium fortified juices.  You also may want to take a calcium supplement of 1,000 to 1,200 mg daily, plus Vitamin D3 supplement of 1,000 I.U. daily.  We are especially at risk for Vitamin D deficiency, due to decreased sunlight in our northern latitude.

Diet soda has no nutritional value, and could more beneficially be replaced with water.  Diet sodas have not been found to be beneficial in weight loss.

Exercise, especially weight bearing, such as walking, is also very beneficial for strong bones.

Your joint pain and popping should be investigated for possible arthritis or other orthopedic problems.  Please see your health care provider for evaluation.