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Bone Health Management
We’ve all heard that terrible story where someone in their later years fell, broke their hip and their quality of life deteriorated rapidly. Our bodies are, in essence, the house we live in every day and no matter where we go we take this house with us and we need to protect it. If we are to look at our bodies as our house then our bones are the structural framework and it’s important that we bring this vital concept to the forefront of our healthcare management and pay close attention to our bone health.
Age, hormone imbalance, past eating disorders like anorexia and some prescription medications can affect bone density and architecture resulting in poor bone health quality. When bone density decreases too much we enter the spectrum of Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disease that weakens bones and increases the risk of sudden and unexpected fractures. This disease can progress without symptoms or pain which is very concerning.
A fracture of the spine, hip, or femur at an advanced age takes much longer to heal and recovery is not always complete. Consequently, this can significantly affect mobility, independence and ultimately quality of life. It is important to check your bone density and fragility so that you are empowered with the knowledge and can act accordingly as you age.
Before now, bone density scanning was rare outside of a radiology setting, but with new state of the art equipment in the form of the Echolight Ultrasound machine, you will be able to get an accurate analysis of your bone density and bone quality in our clinical office.
BioConnect can measure bone density without using any radiation (like X-rays). Instead it uses ultrasound which is perfectly safe. This is critical if you have suffered from cancer (for example) so we are going to say it twice – there is NO EMISSION OF RADIATION!
BioConnect is the only medical centre in the Caribbean that can do this. Working with REMS technology, (radiofrequency ultrasound multi spectrometry), the ultrasound acquires images from the radiofrequency signals and with the machine algorithm, it identifies your risk of fracture in the next 5 years and gives an immediate report. This unique feature of REMS technology is of paramount importance to patients who have undergone cancer and need to avoid radiation of any kind. It truly is a reason for celebration as now we can look at prevention, early diagnosis and monitoring of our bone health throughout life without fear of the unknown and now with ease and accessibility.
The Echolight bone density scan offers a safer, more economical and precise approach to assessing bone health. It has quickly become the gold standard in the diagnosis of Osteoporosis.
Bone health management FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
As the name suggests, it is a test done to assess bone density and quality of the lumbar vertebrae and proximal femur using advanced ultrasound technology.
No. The Echolight uses radiation-free technology for the assessment of bone mineral density.
This technology is called Radiofrequency Echographic Multi Spectrometry (R.E.M.S). Simply put, Echolight uses ultrasound waves.
Yes. Echolight has received the approval of the FDA - US Drug and Food Administration, the governing body that regulates the trade of medical devices.
The bone density scan is a painless test and takes approximately 30 mins. This time allows us to details such as your date of birth, gender etc. and then proceed to do the scan. You can get right back to life knowing the status of your bone health right away. This scan is for both men and women over the age of 21 years of age.
Not at all.
The technician performing the ultrasound will apply ultrasound gel either to your abdomen and/ or your hip. Using the ultrasound probe she will scan the required area while the machine starts to calculate your bone density and quality. At the end of the scan, you will be shown on the graph your current bone density and quality and where your range will be in the next 5 years. This immediate report can be emailed to you and any other health care professional you wish.
There are advantages of the Echolight REMS scan compared to DEXA scan. These advantages include the fact that Echolight evaluates both mineral density and bone quality, whereas the DEXA scan does not. Researchers in Europe have shown in their studies that the Echolight REMS technology is 5 times more sensitive to bone mineral density changes than DEXA. We have known for a long time that many errors can occur using the standard DEXA bone density testing X-Rays machines. The DEXA is operator-dependent and placement on the device, body positioning, arthritis, scoliosis, etc are important variables that impact the test result. Even more important is the fact that bone density testing by DEXA does not accurately predict fracture risk. The vast majority of people who had fractures did not show an “osteoporotic bone density” by DEXA. . As science has advanced, REMS technology is now the gold standard of bone health management.
There is a direct correlation between Osteoporosis and Menopause. As estrogen declines, this can cause a loss of bone mass. After the age of 30 we naturally start to slowly lose bone mass but in the next 5 years after menopause this loss is much quicker due to decreasing levels of estrogen. This is why women are 4 times more likely than men to develop osteoporosis.
There are multiple ways you can help protect yourself against osteoporosis, including:
- Frequent exercise, especially weight-bearing exercises, helps to make bones and muscles stronger and helps to prevent bone loss.
- Eating foods high in calcium. Foods such as milk and dairy products, dark green leafy vegetables, canned fish with bones, and calcium-fortified food such as bread and calcium-fortified orange juice can help.
- Calcium Supplements can also help. Be sure to check in with your doctor about the amount of calcium you should take taking in all cases.
- Vitamin D. Our bodies need Vitamin D to absorb calcium.
- Estrogen. The production of estrogen helps to protect against bone loss. As our estrogen declines during menopausal years, replacing estrogen slows bone loss and improves the body's absorption and retention of calcium. Each woman is unique, and the type of estrogen therapy should always be reviewed with your doctor.
- Estrogen precursors or natural forms of estrogens that have weak estrogenic effects on bones, may help those women who are unable to take hormone treatment.
- Know the high-risk medications. Some medications can actually impact your bone loss. Such medications include certain types of breast cancer treatments, steroids, seizure medication, blood thinners, and thyroid medication.
- Do not smoke. Smoking can impact bone loss as it causes your body to make less estrogen.
- Limit alcohol consumption. Too much alcohol can damage your bones and increase the risk of falling and breaking a bone.
If you have received a low bone density report in the range of osteopenia, you will want to address lifestyle changes including preventative measures such as supplements, prescription medication, weight-bearing exercises, and hormone replacement therapy if applicable. If you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis, you will need to discuss further treatment with your physician to decrease your risk of fracture.
You just learned about: Bone Health Management
It’s time to be the CEO of your health and your bone health check is the perfect place to start.
Click this video to learn more about the Echolight Bone Density Machine