C’mon ladies, (and you too gentlemen)admit it…we all know it’s coming. At 40 it happens, you attend your annual physical at your friendly family doctor’s office and the words “bone density test” suddenly become a part of an exam you were sure you had nailed! You find yourself asking yourself…Hmmm, are my bones healthy?, and if not what does that mean?
At birth, there are over 270 bones in an infant human’s body, but many of these fuse together as the child grows, leaving a total of 206 separate bones in an adult. They preform eleven main functions; mechanical functions are protection, structure, movement, & sound transduction. Their synthetic function is blood production, and the metabolic functions are mineral, growth factor & fat storage, acid-base balance, detoxification and they are an endocrine organ! My, what a busy bag of bones!!
This time we are focusing primarily on the bone density test, it’s results, and what you can do to improve them. So, what is a bone density test?? It is a test to determine if you have osteopenia, or osteoporosis. A bone density test uses X-rays to measure how many grams of calcium and other bone minerals are packed into a segment of bone. The bones that are most commonly tested are located in the spine, hip and forearm. In the past, osteoporosis could be detected only after you broke a bone!
I suppose your next question is “OK, so why do we do this test if we have not had broken bones?” Simple, this test is used for several reasons, most commonly to determine your risk of breaking bones and identify decreases in bone density before you do break a bone. Trust me, if you have not experienced a broken bone…you do not want to! Highly unpleasant, and for all you coffee and pop drinkers out there, the caffeine and carbonation will slow down your healing process significantly! The higher your bone mineral content, the denser your bones are. The denser your bones, the stronger they generally are and the less likely they are to break. Although osteoporosis is more common in older women, men also can develop the condition. www.osteoporosis.ca/osteoporosis-and-you/osteoporosis-facts-and-statistics/
OK, OK…now, what do we do about our results?? Supplementing with vitamin D and minerals is a great way to help your bones maintain their health. Be sure to check with your health care practitioner before purchasing supplements. Be sure you are getting a good quality, easily assimilated and absorbed supplement and that there are no contraindications for you. I have found great success with Trophic’s patented Albion Calcium and Magnesium, chelated with natural amino acids, provides superior biological activity or bioavailability and absorption. By comparison, other compounds such as calcium gluconate, calcium citrate and calcium carbonate are poorly absorbed by the small intestine as these mineral salts must undergo a complex digestive and transportation process. This formula helps to build and maintain strong bones and teeth. It is best to avoid using mineral supplements two hours prior to or until four hours after taking other medications. I have also had colleagues using strontium with success. A special form of strontium called strontium ranelate can increase bone formation and prevent bone loss when used in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. Ask your health vare practitioner if it is right for you. Strontium interacts with antacids, some anti-biotics, estrogens, and male hormones. So again, be sure to talk to your health care practitioner before taking supplements. www.mayoclinic.com/health/calcium-supplements/MY01540
As a BIE practitioner I have encountered many people suffering with osteoporosis and osteopenia that are taking their supplements, but not improving. How could that be?, you ask. Well, in these cases, the particular minerals are stressors for many individuals. This means that body is not recognizing and using the minerals correctly. Each of these individuals is experiencing a homeostatic imbalance, making it difficult for the body to perform optimally. If you are unable to properly assimilate and absorb these minerals, it makes sense that taking supplements will be of little help. Right?
I know, I know… now what?? Lucky for us our bodies are constantly working to maintain homeostasis or balance, now it is our job to help out! It is time to detoxify and rebuild our digestive and immune systems. By doing so we help the body in it’s struggle to maintain optimal health. We must be able to identify, assimilate, and absorb all our necessary vitamins and minerals, and this begins with proper digestion! There are many ways to rebalance our digestive and intestinal systems. The protocol my colleagues and I suggest is a 30 day dietary structure and includes supplements specific to your individual needs and health history. Once you have improved your overall health and habits through proper diet, digestion and assimilation you may follow up with acupuncture, NATE, or the BIE modality to help the body deal with any lingering stressors. www.naet.com , www.carolinecowanhealth.com/services/homeostatic-imbalance-bie or www.cnn.com/2013/02/19/health/acpuncture-allergies/index.html .
Now that you have been working with your health care provider and your body is again able to identify, assimilate & absorb the needed vitamins and minerals, you may in confidence, begin a supplemental regime to help your bones heal themselves. I have watched many individuals with osteoporosis aid their body in reversing it’s effects. Going from osteoporosis, to osteopenia, and then finally back to optimal bone health. It’s all up to you!
Caroline L Cowan RHN, R.BIE