“To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone.” – Reba McEntire
Beauties, as Osteoporosis Awareness Month is coming to a close, I’d like to share how bone health is a lifelong mission for me. As we head into the summer, I wanted to remind you all how important our bone health truly is and how you can care for your bones all year round!
My family history and genetics of poor bone health including osteoporosis, hip fractures and replacements, along with spinal stenosis, made me hyper aware of the importance of bone strength in leading a healthy life.
I shared with you last fall that I was excited to partner with AlgaeCal over the next year to show the impact of their Bone Builder Pack on my actual bone density. Why? Because AlgaeCal is the only plant based calcium product in the world that guarantees stronger bones. That guarantee is everything to me and requires a Bone Mineral Density Scan to determine a baseline bone health reading.
I also shared with you that, at the time, I went in for my very first Dexa Scan. What I didn’t know then was that there is an enormous difference in the Dexa Scan facilities you choose. In working with my AlgaeCal Bone Health Consultant, Julia, I learned that I would need to go to a different facility with a properly trained radiologist who could provide an in depth Bone Mineral Density Scan with all of the necessary readings to determine a proper baseline as well as a bone health plan with the correct AlgaeCal products.
I’ll admit, I was mind blown. I had no idea that all Dexa Scan facilities cannot provide you with an in depth bone mineral density reading.
Osteoporosis literally means “porous bone.” It’s a silent disease that thins the framework inside bones so much that something as simple as a minor fall or bump can result in a fracture. That’s what I personally witnessed growing up with my grandparents and parents. I made a decision early on to live differently. Resistance exercise, yoga, and healthy nutrition became a part of my life ever since.
Keeping your bones strong at any age is important. But, it is even more critical after the age of 50, when weakened bones lead to breaks for one in two women and one in five men. At age 50, bone breakdown outpaces bone formation and bone loss often accelerates, particularly at the time of menopause. The risk for osteoporosis and osteopenia – low bone density that’s not yet in the osteoporosis range – is higher in women due to the fact that female bones are typically smaller and less dense than male bones.
What’s really important to know is that the risk increases at menopause. That’s when levels of bone-bolstering estrogen fall. Men are also at risk. Now, having a family history as I do of osteoporosis-related fractures increases the odds for women and men. One of the reasons that I love AlgaeCal is their mission of bone health emphasizes education, awareness and, most of all, prevention. Preventing bone loss is so important. Strong bones make for a strong life.
With the AlgaeCal team guiding me, I chose to go to a Dexa Scan facility with a radiologist, Dr. Susan Nattrass, founder of the Puget Sound Bone Density & Clinical Research Center, who also happened to have decades of experience as an authority on osteoporosis and prevention. (She also never mentioned that she’s a 7 time World Champion Trap Shooter and 6 time Olympian!) She conducted a super thorough Bone Mineral Density Scan and took a long time to go over the results with me. What I learned was that my bones overall were super strong. She told me that it looked like I was doing all the right things. With that said, I had two areas of concern, one in my hip and one in my lower lumbar spine, that showed mild osteopenia.
With my latest baseline BMD (Bone Mineral Density) Scan, it was time to meet with Julia, my AlgaeCal Bone Health Consultant to formulate a bone building plan with the right products given my baseline reading. Julia spent close to an hour with me going over everything – from my family history to my diet and exercise programs. With this information, she created a comprehensive plan to help me combat osteopenia as well as to increase my bone mineral density in the coming months. Julia emphasized the need the impact of hormones and Vitamin D, our master hormone on bone health. Fortunately, I have my hormone levels monitored regularly as well as my Vitamin D levels, both of which have an enormous impact on bone health. She explained the difference between a T Score and a Z Score, as you can see on my BMD reading.
A T score scale compares current bone density to healthy bone density. Ideally, you want your score to be minus 1 or higher. A Z score compares your individual bone density score to women of the same age and race. Julia told me that a Z Score isn’t what’s most important. What is critical is comparing our bone density to that of a woman with healthy bones. The next rating is a BMD Score which shows the density levels of minerals in your bones.
There are two main areas to focus upon when it comes to bone health. One is our lifestyle. The other is age related bone loss. Our lifestyle has a direct impact on how our bones age. A healthier lifestyle translates into healthier bones. A healthy lifestyle incorporates lots of exercise, including weight bearing activity. What’s empowering to know is that we can continue to build stronger bones at any age, when we combine a healthy lifestyle with AlgaeCal. For me, that means the AlgaeCal Bone Builder Pack. Julia determined that this was the right product for me given my baseline BMD, my family history, and my lifestyle.
It was eye opening to learn that there is an enormous difference in the Dexa Scan facility you choose as well as the radiologist you work with to ensure the proper information to formulate a personalized bone health plan. One other word of caution that Julia let me know. The Dexa Scan machines are calibrated differently. So, when you get a baseline scan, be sure to return to the same facility to ensure a proper reading. When I return this fall, I’ll be back to meet with Dr Susan Nattrass to find out my bone building results using AlgaeCal Bone Builder Pack and to share them with you! One thing that differentiates AlgaeCal is that their bone health consultants are part of the package when you purchase their products. You are guided by professionals, experts in bone health and bone building.
Make sure to visit the AlgaeCal Blog to learn more about Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention as well as what you can do to build stronger bones for the healthiest, strongest life possible.
Cheers Beauties! Here’s to Fierce Bones & a Fierce Life.
In full transparency, this blog post was not sponsored in any way. This information is shared from my heart and my personal mission to inspire women to build healthy strong bones. It is my personal mantra and belief that “Strong Bones. Strong Life!”