Losing Weight? Test Your Bone Health!

Bone health is impacted by many factors, and nutrition can affect our bone health in many ways. Did you know:
1. A Lost of 10% of your weight can translate into losing 1-2% of all your bone density?
2. The older your are the more you have bone compromise when you diet
3. Women who are obese, when they regain weight they have lost they primarily gain fat, thus both bone and muscle are less likely to be maintained!
4. Even at two years the loss of bone from dieting was shown not to be regained.

In a study done at Rutgers University by Nancy L. Von Thun and coworkers it was shown that even short-term weight loss can be shown to have consequences on your bone health. It's therefore very important to get evaluated for bone health when you are watching your calorie count! The most accurate determination of how strong your bones are, and how much density (calcium) they have is to determine both the structure and the thickness. Unfortunately your gyno cannot determine the internal structure of your bones. You can get a measure bone bone strength, and therefore bone health by the bone density (BMD) test, which is a test of the thickness of your bones in critical areas. The test itself is quick, painless and accurate.

The bone test itself is called bone densitometry testing, or DXA. DXA tests give you a score that tells you how similar you are to women (yes, there are calibrations for men too) your own age, called the Z score, and then a T-score measurement of bone strength which compares you to young adults and predicts your risk of fracture. There is actually no specific number on your bone test that is completely “safe” from fracture, but the denser your bones on this test the less likely it is that you will fracture. Also look at the numbers that give a percentage of change over a 2-5 year period of time. the weakest bones are associated with measurements that show bone lost is proceeding rapidly, even if the scores are still in the healthy range. Bone health is tricky. Since bones are the calcium reserves of our body even in weight gain, like in pregnancy, some people can lose bone.Women in pregnancy can lose 3-5% of their bone, if you breast feed you can lose 10% of your bone (but delivery and stopping breastfeeding triggers rapid re-growth). Hormones have complex ways they affect bone, oral contraceptives can be beneficial, but without hormones or estrogen in their system, in menopause women will lose 2-4% of their bone per year, and as women get older they will lose about 1-2% of bone per year. Treatments, even the proper nutrition and supplements, can halt or dramatically slow these numbers. Those with low vitamin D in their diet are more likely to have weaker bones. And now it has been shown that those who consume a Mediterranean diet have healthier bones!

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