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Bone Up on Health: Innovative Approaches to Preventing and Treating Osteoporosis

Monday, May 13th 2024 10:00am 2 min read
Dr. Jessica Peatross dr.jess.md @drjessmd

Hospitalist & top functional MD who gets to the root cause. Stealth infection & environmental toxicity keynote speaker.

Medications are not the sole remedy for osteoporosis. Explore natural treatments and lifestyle adjustments to enhance bone density.

Osteoporosis is marked by diminished bone density and often lacks obvious symptoms until a fracture occurs. Typically, bone mass accumulates during childhood, with 90% of peak bone mass achieved by age 18. However, as we age, bone mass may decline, leading to reduced bone density (osteopenia) and, in some cases, osteoporosis. Let’s explore the causes of osteoporosis, the various treatment options available, and the functional medicine perspective on managing this condition.

What Leads to Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis results from an imbalance between two types of bone cells: osteoclasts, which break down bone, and osteoblasts, which are responsible for new bone formation. Ideally, these cells maintain bone health by balancing bone breakdown and renewal. If this balance is disrupted, bone density can decrease rapidly without adequate replacement, leading to weakened bones.

Diagnosing Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is commonly diagnosed using a DEXA scan, or dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, which measures bone density and bone mineral content. This diagnostic tool provides a comparative analysis against the bone density scores of a standard healthy adult population, helping healthcare providers understand individual bone health through T-scores and Z-scores. The T-score compares your bone density to a healthy young adult, while the Z-score compares it to people of your age and gender, which is particularly useful for diagnosing secondary osteoporosis in younger individuals.

Understanding Z Scores

A normal Z-score falls between -2 and 2.5. Scores lower than -2.5 indicate significantly reduced bone mineral density, signaling potential concerns that warrant further investigation into other contributing factors.

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