I have always eaten a variety of foods, including plenty of fruits and vegetables. I drank enough milk as a child to warrant owning a cow. I’ve loved cheese and yogurt for decades. So when I had my first Bone Density Test at 48, I was stunned to learn that I had the beginning stages of Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition that weakens your bones, makes them more porous and far more susceptible to breaking.
A Bone Density Test is standard for women starting around the age of 50. I’ve dutifully done all my “over the hill” tests (like a colonoscopy). A Bone Density Test is non-invasive. You just lie on a table and the machine passes over you like a moving x-ray machine. I knew that the statistics rise with age, certain genetics, and after menopause, but I had consumed high levels of calcium most of my life. Frankly, I was terrified by the test results. My mother had two friends who fell with hip fractures because of Osteoporosis. I hadn’t expected to show signs until I entered my 60s,at least.
My doctor explained that the early stage of Osteoporosis is called Osteopenia. My test results were -1.25 on my left hip and -1.75 on my right hip, technically Osteopenia. That means that my bones were not regenerating enough new cells to keep up my bone strength. However, that level was not yet critical. Usually, Osteoporosis is identified as a score of -2.4 or more. If you don’t get tested, you likely won’t discover it until you fall and break a bone.
I was thankful I’d been tested, but I wanted to know why, despite my positive lifestyle actions, I had already started to show signs of bone loss. My doctor did some further testing, and it turns out my levels of Vitamin D and B12 were practically zero. Apparently, I’d been suffering from malabsorption of nutrients for years. No wonder I felt so fatigued.
Turns out I have a dairy and gluten intolerance, so my doctor adjusted my diet, changed me over to liquid and sub-lingual (dissolved under the tongue) vitamins, and prescribed a bisphosphonate.
This type of medication slows the bone loss process while your bones still regenerate new cells at the same speed. I was retested six months later and showed no further escalation of the disease.