Bone health is important at every age and stage of life. The skeleton is our body's storage bank for calcium and without it we will get broken bones
At birth we have about 270 bones but by the time we are about 30 the number is 206 because some fuse together. Their smallest are in the inner ear 2-3 mm. Your leg bones are the longest and strongest in your body. When you stand or walk, all the weight of your upper body rests on them. The three longest are your femur, your tibia and your fibula. All of them are very strong
A mineral that is necessary for our bodies to function is Calcium. This is especially important for building bones and maintaining the density. If we do not have enough Calcium we can easily have broken bones
Calcium is needed for our heart, muscles, and nerves to function properly and for blood to clot. This mineral comes from the food we eat but if we do not eat enough of it to keep our bodies functioning, calcium is removed from where it is stored in our bones. Simply our bones are a calcium bank. Problem is that when we stop growing we do not make our skeleton bigger or stronger therefore unless we make sure we get enough Calcium our skeleton becomes weaker leading to fractures
What happens is that our bones become less dense and this is measured when you have test. Unfortunately, most people only find out when they easily experience broken bones so everyone should ask your doctor when you should have a test, however if you are over 30 get a test done now and after the test depending on the results the doctor will advise you when you do the next test. The density enables doctors to see how good or bad your bones are.
- Normal bone density 0 to +4
- Low Bone Density (Osteopenia) -1 to -2
- Porous Bone (Osteoporosis) -2.5 to -4
How do we know when our skeleton has become weaker?
Of course, a test will show this but there are signs showing a lack of calcium
- Receding gums.
- Receding gums are quite common and can be attributed to a variety of factors, one of which is bone loss. Our teeth are connected to the jaw bone and if the jaw is losing bone, gums can recede. Ask your dentist to share any information from your exam and x-rays regarding your bone health.
- Decreased grip strength.
- Weak and brittle fingernails.
- There are many reasons such as spending time in water, exposed to harsh chemicals, digging in the garden, or other work can be tough on your nails, so take these into consideration.
- Cramps, muscle aches.
- As we age, these are dismissed as part of ageing but may indicate lack of calcium. Leg cramps that occur at night are often a result of lower calcium, magnesium, and/or potassium blood levels.
- Muscle loss and weakness.
- Our bone and muscles work together and typically gain and lose strength together, therefore a loss in muscle strength is connected to an eventual loss in bone
- Low overall fitness.
- Bone density has been linked to overall decline in physical fitness, as measured by aerobic capacity, muscle strength, and even balance. If your general fitness declines, it is likely that bone mass will also decline.
The latest technology is to have a scan for Bone Densitometry (DEXA. DXA). This is a dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, DEXA or DXA, that uses a very small dose of ionizing radiation to produce pictures of the inside of the body and is the most commonly used and the most standard method for diagnosing bone weakening .
You doctor should be able to refer you to where such a test can be done. And also advise you on other things are necessary to avoid broken bones. For example you will need to make sure your Vitamin Levels are good.VITAMIN D FROM THE SUN HELPS CALCIUM
Until then if you feel not well, or you do not do much exercise then you may be at risk. However if your bones are healthy and strong, it’s likely your muscles are too, and it’s also likely you have a great reserve of minerals tucked away for the future. Strong bones mean you have the ability to be active and even flexible into your older years. Either way. as we age it is more likely that our intake of Calcium is less than what we need therefore you don’t have anything to lose by taking good care of your bones and eating more calcium.DISCLAIMER
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