Bone mineral density refers to the amount of mineral matter per square centimer of bone.
As you grow older, because existing bones break down faster than new bone is made, bones become thinner (this is called osteopenia). Bones lose calcium and other minerals; becoming lighter, less dense and more porous. This means that the bones are weaker, increasing the chance of breakage or fracture.
As this continues, osteopenia will lead to osteoporosis.
Logically, the thicker your bones are, the longer it will take to get osteoporosis. Osteoporosis can occur in men but is more common in women.
Factors that decrease bone density and increase the risk of a fracture and osteoporosis include:
- poor diet
- low body weight
- use of oral contraceptives in women
- lack of exercise
There are many different ways to test for BMD and we suggest discussing the options with your doctor.
If your bone density is lower than normal, there are a few things to do to increase your bone strength and reduce your chances of breaking or fracturing a bone or even developing osteoporosis:
- taking calcium and vitamin D supplements
- weight training exercises
- weight bearing exercises (ie. walking)
- avoiding the above things that decrease bone density
If you are in the area you can have your bone density tested at Dischem, Nicolway next Thursday the 14th of August between 10am and 3pm in conjunction with Foodstate. Please note this is only a preliminary and not a diagnostic density screening test.