Saturday, January 15, 2005

Everyone especially women should read this!

I've finally got around to visiting some of your blog sites. When I stopped at Jeanette's site, I read about how she received the interpreted results of her bone density scan.

Bone is in a constant state of turnover. That means that your body breaks down bone through cells called osteoclasts while it also builds bone through cells called osteoblasts. This is why you can heal after breaking a bone. When an imbalance of these 2 processes occurs, problems arise.

Osteopenia is generic term for bone loss. If you ever hear your doctor talk about osteopenia, make sure you have them determine whether it's osteoporosis or osteomalacia. There is a difference. Osteoporosis is the where your body produces good quality bone, but "not enough" of it. Osteomalacia is where your body makes "enough" bone but not a good quality.

Everyone, I repeat EVERYONE, gets some form of bone loss eventually. The only thing we can do is to slow down the process. After the approximate age of 30, females lose bone at a rate of about 1-3% PER YEAR. Males lose bone too, but at a slower rate. After a certain time (I can't remember the age) both sexes lose bone at an equal rate.

So what can we do to slow down the process? First off, if you have some form of bone loss, make sure to have your parathyroid gland checked. Hormones from the parathyroid (If I remember correctly, it's parathormone) causes breakdown of bone. This normally happens when the serum is low in calcium. However, a number of conditions can cause the parathyroid gland to be over-reactive.

Probably the best thing you can do is WEIGHT BEARING EXERCISE. I can't stress this point enough for all of you, especially the women. You don't have to use actual dumbbells. Gravity alone is good. So, go for a walk, jog, or do some standing squats for your legs. Find some form of small resistance for your arms. MAKE THIS A PRIORITY. Make time for it out of your busy day. This is by far, the most essential part in dealing with osteoporosis. If your body doesn't experience the stresses on the bone, then it won't adapt to the need for more calcium to be retained by the bone. For this reason, I don't care how much supplementation you take, if you don't do the weight bearing exercises, it doesn't do any good.

Speaking of supplementation, there are various forms of calcium that work much better than others. Certain forms like Calcium citrate malate or calcium citrate are much more efficient to absorption by the body than other forms like calcium carbonate.

There are foods that you do want to avoid. I'll have to double check my notes on those. If I remember correctly, simple carbs/sugars, caffeine, alcohol are just a few. But, let me check my notes (if I can find them again).

There are probably other things that I'm forgetting to mention as well. If I do remember them, I'll post them in the comments. If you have other questions, I'll do my best to answer them. I can't promise that I'll have an answer, but I'll try.