When I was a girl there was a time when we all wanted to know if we were big boned. Oh the humanity! Somehow having your girlfriend measure the circumference of your wrist with her forefinger and thumb would tell you whether you’d be cursed with big bones – for life!
Now, approaching 50, having big, healthy bones could not be more important. Granted, not all things dense are desirable, but bones ain’t one of ‘em. Not that long ago, the only way you might discover you had weak bones, or even worse osteoporosis, was if you broke one. By then, the health of your bones might already be severely compromised. But now, with a bone density test, known as a densitometry, we can be made aware early in the game if the mineral composition of our bones is not up to snuff.
What can we do to prevent the onset of osteoporosis and weakened bones? Well, first off, if you need to lose weight, you shouldn’t diet. Restricting calories beyond what is healthy, can affect hormones that affect your absorption of calcium. A Rutgers University study found that just six months of dieting decreased bone density by 3 percent. Researchers say losing weight can also cause a change in three hormones (parathyroid, estrogen and cortisol) that affect the absorption and utilization of calcium.
What you CAN do, is make sure to include weight bearing exercise that strengthens muscles and helps to protect your bones. Eat a healthy diet rich in calcium and get a bone density test when your doctor recommends it. It’s a breeze!
For more information check out The National Osteoporosis Foundation.
Other Sources: The Mayo Clinic