Happy Wednesday everyone! Can you believe it’s November already???!!! The days sure are flying by, aren’t they? I don’t know about you, but I’m having to be very deliberate about my wellness efforts right now. It’s just too easy to slide into complacency with our wellness when we live in stressful times. That’s why I think our Wellness Wednesday questions can be helpful. They help us focus on our wellness, even if just for a few minutes.
As you may remember, on Friday, we talked about the importance of building bone while we’re young and how to keep our bones as healthy as possible throughout our lifespan. For this week’s question, we’ll take a look at how we’re doing with taking care of our bones.
Let’s ask ourselves:
Unfortunately, we don’t always know there’s a problem until we break a bone.
One simple way to determine whether there’s a problem is to have a bone scan, called dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA). It’s a simple test and only takes a few minutes. It exposes you to less radiation than a regular X-ray. Routine DXA scans are usually not recommended until age 65, but there are times your doctor might recommend one, such as
- Loss of Height. If a person has lost at least 1.6 inches in height, they may have a compression fracture of the spine. Osteoporosis is one of the main causes for this.
- A Broken Bone. A broken bone can be a sign that our bones are becoming more fragile.
- If you’ve taken certain medications. When we have to take certain medications, such as steroid medications, long-term, it can interfere with the remodeling process.
- If you’ve had an organ transplant. Anti-rejection drugs can also disrupt the remodeling process.
- If your hormone levels have dropped. The loss of estrogen and testosterone can cause decreases in bone mineral density.
No matter what our starting point, there are things we can do to protect our bones.
I had kind of a double whammy when it came to my bones – I have several risk factors for Osteoporosis, including a strong family history. In addition to that, I took medications for Endometriosis during the years when I should have been reaching my peak bone density. I was more than halfway through my military career and I would have done any kind of treatment to get rid of the pain so I could remain fit for duty. Sometimes, we just have to “choose the lesser of two evils” to be able to have quality of life.
Now I have Osteoporosis, and I have to do everything I can to keep my bones as strong as possible.
But that’s not enough – I also need to do things to make me flexible enough and strong enough to avoid the falls that could cause a fracture. If you’re in the same boat as me, I want to encourage you. We may not be at the point where we can build a lot more bone, but there are things we can do to strengthen the bone we do have and stop further damage.
If you’re younger and still building bone, now is the perfect time to eat a bone-healthy diet and do exercises that help to build new bone. The more bone density you have, the more your body has to pull from as you age.
Is bone health something you think about or is it more a case of “out of sight, out of mind”? What are some of the foods you eat or exercises you do to support your bone health? Please share!
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