From the age of approx. 25 our bones can start to deplete in density. Usually though for women they remain fairly stable until the age of menopause, when the oestrogen levels in the body can drop rapidly for some, certainly not all women.
So what can you do to keep your bones in tip top shape? The good news is a lot but the secret is knowing what to do and actually putting it into action NOW, not in 5 or 10 years time. To begin with you need to find out if you do not already know the current health of your bones.
Many assume their bones are fine because they have had no incidents, accidents, falls or breakages. This is not an accurate or reliable source of bone health. Literally, you could be a walking ‘honeycomb’ in waiting for an accident to happen.
There are four main methods used to check bone health.
Dexa scan.( Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry)
It is X-Ray based, unfortunately it is radiation ( and I’m certainly not a fan of x-rays but at this time it is the lesser of two evils) but you can take precautions against it such as taking barleygrass,NAC, Yellowdoc herb, fennel etc. which help move the toxicity from your body.
The world Health organisation defines osteoporosis measurements as a T-Score compared to that of a young adult. A T-score of more than (-1) is considered normal. A score of between -1 and -2.5 is classed as osteopenia (bone thinning, which can be reversed which is why early detection is so important.) and a score lower than -3.5 is categorised as osteoporosis.
- Ultrasound Bone scanner: passes an ultrasound though the heel bone. Results can vary on it and therefore it is not as reliable as the Dexa. It can act as a guide to tell you what zone you are in but I firmly believe the Dexa scan to be the best giving you specific area scores.
- Bone Turnover analysis. This test is more rare and only tells you how quickly your bone turns over/breaksdown. It does not tell you the bone quality or density. it is measured through a urine sample and is more used in cases where the treatment of osteoporosis through medication is being monitored
- Blood calcium levels. This is not a very reliable way of telling the health of your bones as it is only determining the level of calcium in the blood and can indicate other things such as the health of your parathyroid etc. Lots of my clients are misled with these results. Normal blood testing limits for calcium medically must fall between 2.15-2.55mmol/L. The higher the level of blood calcium the greater the risk of the calcium deposits hardening arteries and muscles, which is exactly why calcium supplements got very bad press a few years back. I will explain more about that very important subject later. Your calcium blood levels have to be maintained within a fine balance therefore your body will do what it has to , to maintain this level even take calcium form your blood if so be needed.
LOTS more to come on bone health in the coming weeks so please stay tuned! You can request a bone scan to be carried out independently at many health clinics now such as the Blackrock, Beacon, etc. in Ireland or discuss it further with your doctor if you are very concerned about it. Knowledge is power so knowing your bone health is a great place to start in making changes if be needed.
Have a fabulous healthy simplified week, Gertrude