Your bones...how often do you really think about them and their health? Chances are you don't really consider them until something goes wrong like you break one or you are diagnosed with thinning bones at a later age. Contrary to the train of thought of most of us, your bones need to be protected and nurtured throughout your entire life just like any other part of your body. They are living things and what you do to help them to develop healthily and stay strong begins when we are babies and continues throughout our lives!
This month's featured speaker at The Women's Club, Dr. Gloria Ivey-Crowe recognizes that bone health is important even in the earliest stages of life and continues to be an important part of wellness for women our entire lives, that why she is bringing you this month's installment of our Women's Wellness Series:
No matter what your age, the health of your bones is vital for development. Our bone health is affected directly and indirectly by genetics, diet, medications, exercise, and smoking to name a few. Every visit to a health care provider has questions and answers that impact your bone health. Sometimes these questions are directly related to your bones and what you are doing to maintain them and other questions and answers may reveal an indirect impact on your bone health.
Even as a Baby?
Infants born with genetic defects in cartilage production may be born with a variety of disorders that make their bones brittle, bow, or even break. Pregnant patients are constantly reminded to take their prenatal vitamins daily for all the important elements they contain which affect the health of their unborn child; Calcium, Vitamin D, Iron, Folic Acid, and a host of other ingredients found on your bottle. Childbirth and Lactation classes stress the benefits of breastfeeding and those who choose not to are directed to various formulas which contain Calcium, Vitamin D, and other important ingredients. No regular or whole milk until at least one year of age and even that should be fortified with Vitamin D.
Why should I be concerned as a woman?
The more you know about your bones and how to protect them will be beneficial as you become older and at risk for bone loss and its associated injuries. Bone loss is minimal up to about 30 years of age. After that time, it begins to increase and women must make a concerted effort to maintain their bone health with supplements of Calcium, Vitamin D, and exercise.
How will I know if the there is a problem?
As women become older, health care providers will inquire more about what you are doing directly to impact bone loss, your mother’s history of bone loss, order additional testing, as well as make therapeutic recommendations to help you maintain your current bone health, and slow down the progression of any current or future bone loss. DEXA scans are ordered to assess a person’s bone health. Are your bones normal, starting to thin, or already have areas of bone loss? Your health care practitioner will interpret these results and make the necessary recommendations.
Main article submitted by:
Dr. Gloria J. Ivey-Crowe
Women Physicians of Northern Virginia