Good Bone Health and Bone Density2016-11-02T20:33:06+00:00

Good Bone Health As We Age

Bone Loss and Osteoporosis

Learn about Molly’s approach to bone loss, bone density testing and diagnosis. Take steps to benefit your health and well being.

Osteoporosis is Defined as the Progressive Bone Loss From the Matrix of Bone Tissue.

  • Bone loss has been called a “silent killer.” A fracture is usually the first indication of osteoporosis.
  • With bone density testing, you can find out if you are at risk early, and get on a treatment plan.
  • One half of all U.S. women over age 50, and one out of eight men over age 50, will have an osteoporosis-related fracture. When it involves the hip, it is fatal in 20% of cases.
  • By age 65, bones can be so weak that osteoporosis may be irreversible.
  • All women over 50 and men over 65 should have a bone density test.
  • If you are over 50, ¼ of your bone mass may have disappeared.
  • Bone loss begins at age 30 or 35. Post menopausal bone loss increases 1.5% to 5 % for 3-5 years, then continues at a rate of 1% to 1.5% per year.
  • It is normal to lose bone as we age. You have to lose 35% to 50% of bone matrix before fracture occurs, most commonly in femur, neck of the hip, vertebrae, and radius.
  • The DEXA bone density test is considered the most accurate.
  • There is a urine test which measures how fast you are losing bone by how fast you excrete calcium, called Pyrilinks-D.

Some supplements I recommend for women with bone loss include a good bone building supplements like Osseopan or Bone Builder, calcium and magnesium, and consider using a bi-etrogen formula along with natural progesterone.

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Bone Mineral Density Testing And Bone Scan Results

by Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN NP

Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) technology was introduced in 1988 and has become the most popular tool for measuring bone density. The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends that all women over age 65, and post-menopausal women with at least one risk factor for osteoporosis, undergo a bone density test, which is usually a DEXA. Results from bone density tests are used to diagnose osteopenia and osteoporosis. DEXA measures the bone mineral content (BMC) of the spine, hip, wrist, femur, or any other selected part of the skeleton. It does this by focusing an x-ray on a body site and measuring the proportion of light rays that pass through the tissue as opposed to being blocked by minerals in the bone. Using computer software, it then divides that number by the surface area of the bone being measured to create bone mineral density (BMD). Read More…

Is Bone Density Really the Problem?

By M. Pick

Low bone density alone does not cause fractures, nor does high bone density guarantee that your bones are healthy. In fact, bone density provides only a sliver of information about your overall risk of fracture.

Bone is strong because of its capacity for self-repair. Your body is constantly breaking down old bone and replacing it with stronger, new bone. This process results in bone that is sufficiently dense and flexible to withstand the forces of everyday activities.

Some bone loss is normal as we age. Accelerated bone loss is a concern, but so is dense, old bone that may be quite brittle. The key to strong bones is to support a healthy, balanced bone metabolism. At our practice, we always look at bone density test results in the context of what the patient is doing to reduce the de-mineralizing demands on bone and increase the support that helps build new bone. Here’s what we recommend:

  • Focus on fitness. Exercise at least 30 minutes, three times a week. Weight-bearing exercise is the most helpful for your bones.
  • Consider your emotional foundation. Stress, worry, and anxiety produce high levels of cortisol, which is destructive to bone. Reducing stress levels through cognitive therapy or other methods can only benefit your bone health.
  • Consider other bone health tests to get a more rounded perspective of your bone health. At our clinic we like to monitor a woman’s NTx test results, which is a blood or urine test that indicates the rate of bone breakdown by measuring a specific molecule released during bone resorption. We also measure a woman’s pH level, which can help determine whether her diet and lifestyle are placing an excessive burden on her bones’ reserves of alkalizing compounds. Read More…

Questions? Molly is available to consult with you. Contact her at 303-546-0987 or mollygreacen@womanmedicine.com.