People with low bone density are prone to fractures. To make matter worse, low bone density can significantly impair people's balance as they age, increasing the risk of falls, and fractures, a new study published in the January 2014 of Annals of Epidemiology found.
The study, which also reported low bone density impaired hearing ability, said bone loss affects the entire skeleton, including bones in the skull that house the organs for balance and hearing.
Just over a third of participants failed the balance test. Those with low bone density were more than twice as likely to fail the balance test than subjects with normal bone density. Love bone density subjects age 65 or older were almost four times as likely to fail than normal density subjects.
Lower bone density may affect the vestibular system in the ears, which controls a person's balance, by altering the dense part of the temporal bones at the base and sides of the skull, researchers said. Having low bone density in the head and total body, was found to significantly increase the chances of hearing trouble in older subjects.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, January 28, 2014.
Why do Baby Boomers Need to Know Their Bone Mineral Density?
As Baby Boomers age , being able to maintain body balance and strong bones is key to a long and healthy life. Regular exercise and maintaining acceptable bone mineral density (BMD) helps to keep your body strong and in balance. A bone mineral density (BMD) test is the best way to determine your bone health.
Exercise stimulates body tone, sending minerals to your muscles, skin, organs, blood vessels and other body parts. Exercise causes minerals to help keep your body properly hydrated, to get rid of waste materials properly, and to keep operating at optimum level with little fatigue or loss of quality.
When minerals are stimulated by exercise, they work to help pass food along your digestive tract, to enable you to inhale air into your lungs and to regulate blood-vessel action when more pressure is needed in an emergency. The faster minerals bring oxygen to your cells, the better you feel. You 'come alive.'
With help from a guiding and qualified health care professional, you can stop "old-age" posture and a lack of balance...in a smooth transition toward a healthy and happy second life during those retirement years.
So, what can you do to know more about your bone health?
A bone density test can diagnose osteoporosis and measure the amount of bone in different parts of the skeleton. The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) recommends a bone density test of the hip and spine using a central DXA machine to diagnose osteoporosis. DXA stands for dual energy x-ray absorptionmetry. There are several reasons why you might consider having a bone density test. Some of these include:
You are under the age of 70 and have one or more risk factors for osteoporosis and broken bones.
You are age 70 or older, even without risk factors for osteoporous and broken bones.
You have broken a bone after age 50.
Your healthcare provider is considering prescribing an osteoporosis medicine.
Your healthcare provider suspects that you have a spine fracture due to height loss, back pain or curvature of your spine.
You are being treated for osteoporosis.
You are taking or are planning to take steroid medicines such as cortisone or prednisone in a daily dose of 5 milligrams or more per day for three or more months.