There Are Things You Can Do To Prevent Bone Loss!
Self-Help for Your Bones
There are several interventions that can improve your bone health and slow your rate of bone loss. These include improved diet and exercise, nutritional supplements, other lifestyle changes and, if indicated, hormone replacement therapy.
Inadequate calcium and Vitamin D intake is harmful to bone health. Excessive consumption of other nutrients such as protein and sodium, can decrease calcium absorption.
Maintaining a physically active lifestyle throughout life is important. A routine exercise regime four or more times per week that includes weight resistance and muscle strengthening aids bone maintenance.
Examples of good weight bearing exercises include: walking, jogging, stair-climbing, back strengthening, and weight lifting.
The recommended daily allowance of calcium is:
- Men (19-50) 1,000 mg. per day
- Men (51 and older) 1,200 mg. per day
- 24 years old to menopause 1,000 mg./day
- Postmenopausal, taking HRT 1,000 mg./day
- Postmenopausal, not taking HRT 1,500 mg./day
If you smoke, stop. If you drink more than moderate amounts of alcohol, we strongly recommend you cut back. Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption is bad for the skeleton. Excessive alcohol use increases the risk of bone loss and fractures, due to both poor nutrition and increased risk of falling.
Answers To Your Questions About Bone Loss
Q: Once I stop growing, do my bones continue to change?
A: Yes. Bones are made up of living tissue that keeps renewing itself. This process is called bone turnover or remodeling. It has two parts: bone resorption - when bone is broken down and removed, and bone formation when bone is rebuilt. In healthy adult bone, bone resorption and bone formation are balanced. This is why adequate nutrition including daily calcium intake is important to maintaining healthy bones.
Q: What is healthy bone?
A: Your bones are made up of living tissue, mainly collagen. Strong, healthy bone is continually maintained through bone remodeling. The bone remodeling process has two phases: breakdown (or resorption) and formation. Bone resorption refers to bone removal or breakdown. In this phase, bone-resorbing cells called osteoclasts excavate small pits on the bone surface, releasing bone collagen and minerals in the circulatory system. Once the osteoclasts have done their job, protein-secreting cells called osteoblasts deposit new tissue - this is the formation phase. When resorption and formation are in balance, there is no net change in bone mass. After a resting phase during which the bone is mineralized, the remodeling cycle begins again. Approximately 20% of bone tissue is replaced annually by this process on a cyclical basis throughout the skeleton. The entire remodeling process occurs over approximately 4 to 8 months, with a range of 3 months to 2 years. With age, testosterone levels in men and estrogen levels in women decrease. At the same time, bone breakdown may increase. However, most people rarely know if they have substantial bone loss until they fracture or break a bone.
Q: What is BMD/bone densitometry?
A: This is a technique (using either X-Ray or ultrasound) used to measure bone mineral density (usually at the hip, spine or wrist). This technique is often used to confirm or deny a suspicion of osteoporosis or to predict a risk of fracture. Based on your health and family history, you and your doctor may decide that you should have a bone mineral density measurement. To get a complete picture of your bones, you should also have a NTx test.
Q: How does BMD differ from the RestoreSM BioBalance NTx test? Do I need to have both?
A: NTx tells you your rate of bone breakdown, a dynamic measurement that can determine the probability for a decrease in your bone mineral density (BMD) if nothing is done to alter the current level of bone breakdown. Your BMD provides a static measurement of your current bone density by measuring how much bone you have. To get a complete picture of your bone status, you should consider both tests. BMD requires several measurements spaced 12-24 months apart to identify significant bone loss. The NTx test can identify increased bone breakdown in 60-90 days, which offers you a much more immediate check on the success of lifestyle changes or other interventions to improve bone health.
Q: What is NTx?
A: NTx is a molecule that is released during bone breakdown. The NTx molecule is excreted into the urine and is measured using a specialized laboratory procedure. This test result indicates your rate of bone breakdown and risk of osteoporosis.
Q: Why use the RestoreSM BioBalance NTx test?
A: Clinical studies have shown that the RestoreSM BioBalance NTx analysis sold by Alternative Medicine Network, which tests your NTx levels, is the most specific and sensitive test available to measure your rate of bone breakdown - a key element of bone health.
Q: Can an NTx test tell me if I have osteoporosis?
A: No. Osteoporosis can only be diagnosed with a bone mineral density test or DEXA scan that assesses actual bone mass. Elevated levels of NTx indicate that bone is breaking down faster than it is being replaced and can indicate a risk of osteoporosis, but it cannot confirm a diagnosis. If your bone loss analysis results in a high rate (results greater than 67) of bone breakdown, you may want to consider scheduling a bone mineral density test or DEXA scan.
Q: What is bone resorption?
A: This is the process in your body when bone is broken down.
Q: How can I find out my level of bone resorption (breakdown)?
A: You can purchase the test or your doctor can order a laboratory test that will indicate your level of bone resorption. This test is called RestoreSM BONE-LOSS NTx. It measures NTx, a molecule released during bone breakdown.
Q: How do I get tested?
A: You can purchase a test kit on this web site, or your doctor can order RestoreSM BONE-LOSS NTx through Alternative Medicine Network's RestoreSM Program. Most importantly, you can decide how to best protect your bones once you have received your NTx results.
Q: Do I have to fast the day before sample collection?
Q: What does the test result mean for me?
A: Your RestoreSM BONE-LOSS NTx test result indicates your level of bone resorption. The RestoreSM BONE-LOSS NTx test result will provide valuable information about your bones, helping you make important decisions about therapies that can protect your bones. RESTORESM BONE-LOSS NTx can provide you with information to help: rapidly and easily indicate elevated bone breakdown, determine the probability for loss of bone mass without anti-resorptive therapy, monitor whether therapy is working in as soon as three months.
Q: Will my doctor know about the RESTORESM BONE-LOSS NTx test? or Why didn't my doctor know about the NTx test?
A: The RESTORESM BONE-LOSS NTx tests are relatively new so your doctor may not have heard of it.
Q: What is an anti-resorptive drug or anti-resorptivetherapy?
A: This is a medication that slows down bone resorption, such as Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy using natural progesterone and possibly, a calcium supplement.
Q: Can RESTORESM BONE-LOSS NTx tell me if therapy is helping to slow my bone resorption?
A: Yes. Your NTx level should go down as soon as three months of starting anti-resorptive therapy. Drugs that slow down bone resorption can help prevent and/or treat osteoporosis by lowering the level of bone resorption. RESTORESM BONE-LOSS NTx can be used to show your response to therapy.
Q: Is RESTORESM BONE-LOSS NTx useful to me even if I'm not on therapy?
A: Yes. You can use the test to monitor your ongoing level of bone resorption. As we age our body changes. It is good to monitor your rate of bone breakdown on a regular basis.
Q: If I am already on an anti-resorptive therapy and didn't get a NTx result initially, is a follow-up NTx result useful?
A: Yes. The NTx result can show your current level of bone resorption and provide you with information to help assess whether your therapy is working.
Q: How To Get Tested
A: All that's needed to perform the test is a urine sample. No dietary changes are needed prior to testing. You simply collect the urine sample in the morning (first or second void) and mail it to the lab. They will perform the test and send the results back to you (if you purchased the test) or your doctor (for doctor ordered tests.)
©Alternative Medicine Network 2009