Where Are You On the Curve of Bone Gain and Loss Through The A Women's Life Span?

We have healthy bones because there is a balance between the bone we form and the bone we resorb thoughout one's life. After the rapid bone gain as infants we gain steadily as children, and then have a spurt in bone mass through our growth spurt a puberty when we put down more bone than we resorb to utilize calcium, and we lose the ability to put calcium back into the bones to keep them as thick as they were in youth. The process of bone development is a process whereby the growth plates are left open so that bones can gain in strength, volume, and length. thus x-rays looking at girls in puberty, their bone age and their hormones can help determine where they are in the process and roughly how tall they will be. Other hormones besides estrogen affect this process. The hormones made as a girl crosses into puberty from the adrenal gland is actually the process of adrenarche, and the maturation of our growth hormone production is called somatarche (which is also the maturing of the insulin-like growth factor production axis). By the time we have hit puberty we have almost 2/3rds of our bone mass and we keep gaining until late teens or early twenties (assuming good nutrition!).  In some women minor amounts of bone is actually accumulated into your thirties, so yes, it's possible you grew in college! Sometime before menopause, usually in the 40s you slowly start to loose your bone mass, about 1/2%/year is what the biggest losers seem to lose out of their bone. But nothing compared to the 2-4%/year loss that occurs during menopause due to lack of estrogen. Now those who go on medication or estrogen, can have an entirely different graph and "change their destiny" as it were. These are averages! At sometime in the first 5-7 years after menopause the loss of bone will slow. We will get to our pattern of loss consistent with old age...and that loss is about 1%/year. Now poor vitamin D and poor calcium intake...the losses will be greater still.We are realizing now that the maintenance of healthy bones means maintaining the health of the adrenal system and the system that produced somatarche. Knowing how these systems are interacting with the pituitary-hypothalamus-ovarian access can help us established the healthiest balance in old age. For more information on anti-againg strategies come in to your gyno for a consultation.




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