Sunday, October 7, 2012

Mom's lectures about bones are saving me right now...

Last week I learned that all my mom's lectures about bones and health helped me even though she might not have followed her own good advice.  I had a quick and easy bone density test at work and learned that at age 50, I have the bone density of a 24 year old woman - that's someone half my age.  It was such a huge relief!

The test was so easy; it took only 1 minute and was completed by a machine the size of a large back pack.  The machine had a groove down the center where I put my foot.  The machine used sound waves to judge the thickness of my heel bone; it was pain free.  The nurse told me that heel bones are very similar to the large bones in our hips so testing it was a good indicator of the density of the large bones that support our frame - our hips.

I am in a high risk group for osteoporosis - or so I've been told...So for more than a decade, I've taken Calcium with vitamin D each morning and Calcium/Magesium/Zinc each night after I brush my teeth.  I also eat a lot of yogurt and cheese.   Years ago a doctor told me that due to small bones, white hair at an early age and  half Scandinavian heritage - I had a higher risk of osteoporosis.  I don't know if research continues to support those risk factors or not but, once my Mom heard that she began to nag me about calcium, Vitamin D and eating enough healthy food.  "Take care of the inside first. Don't worry about the outside; it won't look good of the inside's not healthy."  She's so right.

I must also give credit to my gynecologist who realized that my hormones where out of whack and started me on low dose estrogen at 46, two years before a full hysterectomy.  Though I've fretted about my weight over the past 3 years and been lazy about working out for the last decade, I wonder if my 30 extra pounds has actually helped me.  Has the weight meant that my frame - my skeleton, my bones - had to be stronger to hold it up?  I don't know but I don't think it hurt me.

Going forward though, I must be SURE I'm healthy from the inside out so I'll take my mom's advice and also do something she didn't. Mom had a large yard and garden that she tended all year long.  I hope to do the same after I purchase a house in a month or so.  In the mean time and even after I get the  house,  I MUST be deliberate about exercise. I must life weights to strengthen and do yoga / stretching to maintain my flexibility and balance.  I believe it's those things - along with a good diet - that will ensure I avoid osteoporosis and the pain that goes with it.

How do i prevent osteoporosis?  Easy bone density test, how do they test bone density? prevention of osteoporosis, prevention of weak bones, risk factors for osteporosis