Having strong bones isn’t just something that is important for kids. As adults age, they need to get the right nutrients to keep their bones strong and healthy, as well.
Osteo- is a prefix that refers to anything bone-related, including osteoporosis (porous bones or bone density loss), osteoarthritis (arthritis caused by a loss of bone density), and other diseases that can affect the bones.
Strong bones are critical to your health in the long term and it is important that you do everything that you can to support your bone health so that you can enjoy the fullest life possible. Without strong bones, you can face serious risks including fractures, bone diseases, mobility issues, and even arthritis problems over time.
Did you know that women are more likely to suffer bone health issues, including being up to 5 times more likely to be diagnosed with osteoporosis in their lifetime? This is because many women face serious calcium deficiencies after menopause, making them much more susceptible to problems with their bones than their male counterparts.
Of course, anyone can suffer from a loss of bone density if they are not getting the right nutrients. It’s important that you learn about bone density, diseases, and how to improve your bone health.
Take the time to read through this guide to learn more about these issues and what you can do to help your body stay healthy.
Understanding Bone Density
Bone mineral density (BMD) is a measurement of the amount of matter that is present per square centimeter in your bones. When it comes to medical testing and bone scans, the actual physical density is not what is measured. This is very different from the mineral density, which is what can often point to early signs of osteoporosis and other bone density diseases.
When you know how much bone density you have, you will be better able to determine if you are getting the right nutrients and whether you are at risk for osteoporosis and other bone health issues. For people who are already suffering from bone loss, it can also help determine the state that their bones are in and what can be done to treat and improve the condition.
Measurements of Bone Density
Typically, a bone scan will be performed to measure bone density in patients who are suspected of having a deficiency. This is performed on an outpatient basis and involves only minimal exposure to radiation from the scanning machine. The test is known as densitometry, and takes measurements from the hip and lower spine to determine how much bone density a person has.
If something prevents the scan from being performed on these regions, a scan of the forearm will be performed as an alternative measurement. The bone density will be calculated after the scan is complete, allowing doctors and patients to understand exactly what is going on within the bones.
For most people, bone density should be about 1500 kg per m3. While people who have slightly lower measurements aren’t always at risk, it is something to be aware of and watch for. Also, there are some people who present with a bone density measurement that is too high. Although it is rare, it can cause health problems just as low density can.
Osteoporosis as a result of Bone Density Loss
The most common bone disease is osteoporosis, which is characterized by a loss of bone tissue and low bone density, which can lead to fragile, weak bones. Typically, a diagnosis of osteoporosis will require at least a 25% deficiency in bone mass compared to adults of the same age that are healthy.
Your bone health usually peaks around the age of 30, which is when re-absorption begins to take place. Some people won’t encounter issues with bone health for many years, but others will lose their bone mass faster.
People who are diagnosed with osteoporosis stand a much higher chance of fracturing their bones, and will be especially at risk for hip, spine, and wrist fractures because of the loss of bone density. There are millions of people who have low bone density and many of them have already been diagnosed with osteoporosis.
Approximately 80% of the people suffering from osteoporosis are women, and about 50% of women over the age of 50 will develop osteoporosis or experience a fracture caused by this disease in their lifetime.
For men, only 1 of 8 over the age of 50 will face this issue. Ethnicity is not as strong of a factor in osteoporosis because it can affect anyone, but Caucasian and Asian people are most susceptible because of their genetics.
By supplementing your diet and finding bone health support before you develop osteoporosis, you can help prevent this condition from occurring or even prevent it from becoming too severe. If you wait until it is too late, you might simply have to find ways to improve the symptoms and treat the condition instead of finding a solution to avoid the onset altogether.
Although there are many other bone diseases that can occur as a result of low bone density, osteoporosis is the most common and the one that you need to be thinking about when it comes to your bone health. back to top
Causes of Bone Density Loss
There are many different causes of bone density loss that can lead to a diagnosis of a bone disease. Many people assume that a lack of calcium is the only culprit, but the reality is that even with enough calcium in their diet, people can still lose bone density. When there is enough calcium and bone density loss is still occurring, that typically means that the body cannot absorb the calcium correctly. The following causes can also contribute to bone density loss:
- Drugs and alcohol
- Low vitamin D
- Endocrinal disease
- Rheumatic diseases
- Early menopause
- Physical inactivity or immobility
- High homocysteine levels
- Nutritional deficiency
All of these elements can lead to bone density loss. There are also other causes of bone health issues that people might experience on an individual basis. By taking the time to talk to your doctor, you can understand your exact cause of bone loss and how you can help to improve the situation or prevent further bone density loss.
Whether you are actually losing or lacking calcium or the absorption process has gone awry, you need to know what is going on in order to correct the situation and get your health back on track. back to top
Why Calcium Isn’t Enough
Calcium is a great supplement to help support bone health and retain bone density. However, it isn’t just calcium that is responsible for causing bone density loss. Even some people who get plenty of calcium will still experience problems with their health simply because the body cannot absorb the calcium correctly.
You need to make sure that you are taking a supplement like MX Calcium Complex that is full of different vitamins and minerals that your body can use to absorb the calcium that it is getting and prevent bone loss from happening in the future. When you add the right minerals and vitamins to your diet, your absorption rates will increase and your body will lose less calcium.
MX Calcium Complex is a unique blend of vitamins and minerals that will give you the calcium that you need as well as the minerals that will help improve your body’s absorption. Think of it as an insurance policy for your bone health. back to top
When diagnosing bone density loss, doctors will typically perform a bone scan of the lower spine and hip. The forearm can also be scanned if there isn’t a possibility of doing the scan any other way.
This is known as a BMD (bone mineral density) test, and will actually measure the density of your bones in regards to their mineral makeup, not just their physical density.
BMD testing is used to diagnose osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, osteopenia, and other bone density diseases and conditions.
Many healthcare providers will recommend regular screenings for post-menopausal women simply because of their decrease in estrogen that can quickly lead to a loss in bone density. There are some things to keep in mind when you have a BMD test performed:
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- All machines are different, which is why you should have follow-up testing done on the same machine to prevent large discrepancies in your results.
- The average person has a BMD of about 1500kg/m3, but yours might be lower than this. The ‘baseline’ number is often for people who are young, healthy, and have no aging effects in their bodies as of yet. If your number is lower than this baseline number, don’t be too worried unless the doctor specifically tells you it is too low.
- Some BMD results will come back with higher than average density. While this is usually rare and not an issue, it isn’t always good to have too much density in your bones. Too much of a good thing is possible when it comes to bone mineral density.
- Your bone density results will help your doctor better determine what conditions you have or are at risk for and how to treat, prevent, or slow the progression of symptoms and bone loss in your body.
Most treatments for bone density loss include prescription medications and supplements that are designed to improve bone density and help support overall bone health.
Medications like Fosamax are common, but this particular drug is known for inhibiting the development of new bone, which isn’t exactly helpful when it comes to improving bone health.
It does help prevent bone density loss, but the costs may be too high for some. It is always important to discuss your options with your healthcare provider and figure out which solutions are best.
Calcium supplements are only effective when they are taken with the right nutrients that will promote good absorption. Many doctors are too quick to prescribe something for the condition like Boniva, Actonel, Reclast or Fosamax when many of these medications have more side effects or risks than they are worth.
Take the time to learn about different conventional treatments, including all of their risks and side effects, before you have anything prescribed by your doctor.
In some severe cases, surgical procedures may need to be performed. This is usually only as a result of osteoarthritis or a fracture that is caused by bone density loss, but it is a conventional treatment for bone health issues.
Replacement of joints, repair of bones, and fusion surgeries are all available to people who have serious conditions or injuries that are related to a loss of bone density.
For women, hormone replacement therapy has been shown to help improve bone density after menopause. Since the body stops producing so many hormones after menopause, hormone therapy is a viable option for many women who need to restore their hormonal balance and get their health back on track.
This type of treatment is typically only used in women who have had a hysterectomy because the addition of hormones can increase the risk of cancers relating to the reproductive organs. In some cases, the risks of taking hormones will outweigh the benefits that could be obtained and cause this not to be the most viable or effective treatment option. back to top
Alternative Treatment Options
Some people are looking for options beyond the conventional norms to help improve their bone health and regain lost bone density. There are many natural treatments and types of alternative medicine that people rely on to improve their health, including bone health. Changing the diet is always going to be helpful, because what you put into your body makes a huge difference. Here are some notes about dietary changes to help improve bone health:
- Calcium supplements alone are not effective. They might seem like the right option, but if your body is not absorbing the calcium properly, it will be a wasted effort and your body will continue to take calcium from your bones to support other areas of your health.
- Make sure that you are eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and avoiding carbohydrates and processed foods as much as you can. These changes will improve your total health in addition to helping your bones.
- What you eat isn’t the only part of your diet to consider. Supplements that contain calcium and other nutrients to help improve the absorption of calcium will definitely be an added bonus.
Exercise is another solution to help with bone health. However, you need to do more than just take a walk or ride a bike. Your bones need resistant exercise to keep them strong and flexible, so strength or weight training is recommended for people of all ages.
It doesn’t matter if the resistance is 5 pounds or 50 pounds, so long as you are giving your bones some type of strength training to help make them stronger.
Although it is considered a conventional treatment by many, hormone therapy is also listed under the natural treatments for osteoporosis and bone density loss. Natural hormones can help improve the bone health and the body’s balanced state which can promote better health overall. back to top
Finding the right supplements to help your bones is critical. Calcium supplements are great, but they aren’t going to be effective unless they are full of nutrients and minerals that improve your body’s absorption of calcium. Maxalife has created a formula that specifically helps improve bone health, known as MX Calcium Complex.
This formula offers supplemental calcium along with other minerals to boost absorption rates and improve your body’s balance. In addition to this supplement, we also offer our line of multi-vitamins that can give you a whole body health improvement.
For joint health, we also have MX High Potency Joint Aid. Taken with MX Calcium Complex, this supplement can help improve your joints so that they can function along with your bones properly to give you the best flexibility, range of motion, mobility, and overall health of your bones and joints. When you are looking for support for strong bones and related health issues, try these other Maxalife products: MX Mens and Womens Multi-vitaminsback to top