Bone Health and Longevity are closely linked. For adults over the age of 65 falls are actually the #1 killer! More and more of my patients in that age range are actively working on bone health but it is not something that my younger patients think much about. You should. Male or Female you are all likely losing bone if you are over 40 and some before that! Why we lose bone and who should be worried is a complex topic but let me shed a little light on what you should know and what to do.
Osteoporosis numbers are growing rapidly. Partly because of our aging population but also due to a combination of malnutrition (but often overfed), hormonal deficiencies, metabolic dysfunction and more. We are not only losing bone faster than ever but likely starting with less bone to begin with!
Peak bone mass is achieved early in adulthood. What you eat and activities you participate in during childhood make a BIG difference in how much bone you start with. This bone mass stays relatively stable in most individuals until the age of 40 but some start losing bone before then! Bones are constantly undergoing turnover and growth so balancing this process is the key to preventing bone loss and rebuilding bone when necessary.
The number of causes of bone loss are tremendous but a few big ones to consider are gut dysfunction causing the inability to provide your bone the nutrients it needs to grow, over the counter and prescription drugs that block nutrient absorption or directly cause bone loss themselves, chronic inflammation, chronic dieting, stress and hormone imbalance. I think all of us probably fall into one of these categories including myself.
So, what do you do? Get screened and know. We are always a fan of testing not guessing. A DEXA scan is the gold standard for testing and while not a perfect or honestly even good test as described in this blog it will give you some basic information to go by. The number you are looking for is the "T Score." If you are less than "-1" you should look into why!
I'll share a quick patient story. I did a results review with a 44 year old patient this week. She is active, healthy and simply wants to optimize her life. I noticed genetically she had an increased need for bone support and Vitamins D and K. Her blood labs showed that her serum calcium is elevated. She also appeared to be going through early menopause. I suggested we obtain a DEXA scan to know where her starting point is with bone density and she proudly produced a recent study. She had been receiving them yearly for the last few years from another health optimization provider. Kudos to them! However, they missed the fact that she nearly met criteria for osteoporosis in her hip! Whoops. They only looked at the total bone density and didn't dig into the details.
This is why we look deep, spend time and establish what our patients need to focus on. You better believe bone health has become a priority for this 44 year old patient. Good news is, it's early, we can correct this problem and reduce her risk. Do you know what's going on with your bones?
If you are a current patient reach out to your team if you would like to learn where to get a DEXA scan. We are starting to recommend this for EVERYONE that starts with us, regardless of age.
If you are looking for an expert in longevity that can optimize your bone health? Click here to schedule your consultation with our team to see if we are a great fit for you!! We are now serving all 50 states!!!