Hips, Hips, Hooray…It’s Independence Day!

As we approach July 4th, our national celebration of independence from tyranny, I thought I might muse on the term “independent”.

From your responses to my latest survey, most of you appear to be interested in healthy aging with healthy eating, exercise & fitness right behind that, with a dose of alternative therapies and products.

Which is great because you are definitely in the right place to learn more about how you can maintain your health as you get older through eating well, moving your body regularly and with purpose, and be open to trying new modalities and products that I use and share with you. All of these things will help maintain your independence in the years to come.

If you read last week’s blog, you know my mom and sister took a tumble and although fine, my sister is scheduled for surgery on her wrist on Tuesday. I also shared with you that I was having a DEXA scan done to measure my bone density. I am happy to report that bone density in my spine increased 5% and the osteopenia in my hips is minor and unchanged from the last scan almost two years ago.

Did you know that women are more likely to develop osteoporosis, which is basically porous bones (osteo) that are less dense, resulting in increased likelihood of a break due to a fall? Our bones are lighter than men’s bones, and we live longer which makes this four times more likely. It doesn’t help if you are Northern European or Asian, either.

Osteopenia is the precursor to osteoporosis, which can cause fractures, stooped posture, pain and loss of height (yikes, I’m barely clearly 5 feet, as it is). We lose bone density more rapidly after menopause, due to lower estrogen levels, with half of us over 50 developing osteopenia. It can be stopped in its tracks (or even improved) when you know the risk factors and take corrective action now.

What are the risk factors?

  • Female, older than 50

  • Family history

  • Menopause before age 45

  • Removal of ovaries before menopause

  • Diet lacking in calcium & Vitamin D