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…