I had true middle age SMACK me in the face today. My Doctor thought that since I was in the throes of perimenopause I should have a bone density test done strictly for the purpose of serving as a baseline. Weeell, turns out my spine is fine but my hips are right on the border of being classified as having osteopenia. I did what I always do when I am facing something I know nothing about and turned to the web for a little insight. According to www.webmd.com :
Osteopenia refers to bone mineral density (BMD) that is lower than normal peak BMD but not low enough to be classified as osteoporosis. Bone mineral density is a measurement of the level of minerals in the bones, which indicates how dense and strong they are. If your BMD is low compared to normal peak BMD, you are said to have osteopenia. Having osteopenia means there is a greater risk that, as time passes, you may develop BMD that is very low compared to normal, known as osteoporosis. BUT what is even more disturbing is this bit of news: Bones naturally become thinner as people grow older because, beginning in middle age, existing bone cells are reabsorbed by the body faster than new bone is made.
Yes ladies, yet another perk of growing older. Apparently, men are not as likely to suffer from osteoporosis because their bones are denser to begin with. So now on top of all the things we need to do or shouldn’t do, I have to add caffeine and excessive alcohol to my list of no no’s as they both contribute to bone loss. That means any hope I have of waking up in the morning is gone as is any hope I have of falling asleep easily at night. My family will be so excited, because a tired mom is definitely a cranky mom.
As for the test itself – piece of cake. You go and lay on a table and they pass a scan over your lower half. It is not close enough to make anyone claustrophobic and you don’t even have to get naked. The test itself takes about 5-10 minutes, or in my case 20 because the tech and I chatted – I am often starved for adult conversation!