Maintaining bone strength is an essential, and often overlooked, element of wellness. Breaking a bone in the later years of life is more concerning than the actual pain it might inflict. The aftereffects from a fracture can often be devastating, leading to disability, chronic pain, loss of independence or even death. The chances of a woman dying within the five years following a hip fracture are more likely than those following a breast cancer diagnosis. This statistic is not only alarming for women, as 1/3 of all hip fractures occur with men, and not limited to the elderly, as bone density typically peaks at age 30, and then slowly declines. Any fracture, regardless of age or sex, predisposes one to future fractures.
Bone is a living tissue. It is comprised of a complex matrix upon which minerals essential to bone strength are deposited. Bone strength is measured by mineral density in three classifications: Normal, osteopenia, and osteoporosis. Osteopenia is a precursor to osteoporosis and should heighten the patient’s awareness in order to prevent further bone density loss.
Changes in bone density occur due to loss of hormones, high sugar intake, low levels of exercise and low amounts of minerals. Bones are programmed to constantly remodel, as the body attempts to replace old bone with new, sturdier bone. In order for this magnificent repair to take place, the body needs a constant supply of nutrients, an optimal environment and appropriate stress.