765: Take Care of Your Bones and They Will Take Care of You With Margie Bissinger

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Take Care of Your Bones and They Will Take Care of You with Margie Bissinger
Wellness Mama » Episode » 765: Take Care of Your Bones and They Will Take Care of You With Margie Bissinger
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765: Take Care of Your Bones and They Will Take Care of You With Margie Bissinger

Today’s episode is all about how to take care of your bones so that they can take care of you, especially as you get older. I’m back with Margie Bissinger, who is so much fun to talk to. We had a wonderful first episode about happiness as a habit and how it impacts all areas of health.

Margie is a physical therapist, an integrative health coach, an author, and a happiness trainer. She also has over 25 years of experience helping people with osteoporosis and osteopenia to improve their bone health through her comprehensive integrative approach. She also hosts the Happy Bones, Happy Life podcast and has several summits and resources available about this topic as well.

This episode goes deep on the topic of bone health, including nutrition, movement, supplementation, and all the other factors that go into developing and maintaining strong bones. She shares easy things we can do every day to significantly impact our bone health as we age, including how we help our kids develop strong bones.

Thanks for joining us today. I hope you enjoy this episode!

Episode Highlights With Margie Bissinger

  • Why bone health is not just an issue for older people
  • Almost 90% of your bones are developed by age 18-20, and how to help our kids have strong bones
  • The top things that affect bone health: exercise is huge, nutrition, reducing inflammation
  • 1 in 2 women in the US will have a fracture due to osteoporosis
  • The nutrients that are actually important for healthy bones beyond just calcium
  • The role of vitamin D in bone health, and why it is so important
  • Types of movement that are best for bone health
  • Even just 10-20 jumps a day can help with bone density!
  • How to test and improve bone density
  • The way hormones and inflammation play a role

Resources We Mention

More From Wellness Mama

Read Transcript

Hello and welcome to the Wellness Mama Podcast. I’m Katie from wellnessmama.com. And this episode is all about how to take care of your bones so that they can take care of you, especially as you get older. And I’m back with Margie Bissinger, who is so much fun to talk to. We had a wonderful first episode about happiness as a habit and how it impacts all areas of health. And this one goes deep on the topic of bone health, including the nutritional, movement, supplementation, and all the other factors that go into developing and maintaining strong bones, including how we can do this with our kids and maintain strong bones as we age. Margie is a physical therapist, an integrative health coach, an author, and a happiness trainer. Again, check out our first episode all about that. But she also has over 25 years of experience helping people with osteoporosis and osteopenia to improve their bone health through her comprehensive integrative approach. She also hosts the Happy Bones, Happy Life podcast and has several summits and resources available about this topic as well. So let’s jump in and learn from Margie. Margie, welcome back.

Margie: Oh, thanks. I’m so glad to be here.

Katie: Well, we had such a fun first conversation about happiness being a habit and how to cultivate it. And I’ll make sure that episode is linked in the show notes. And in this one, I would love to talk about another area of genius for you, which is our bone health. Because I think this is certainly we know that it’s becoming a rising issue and that there are all kinds of bone-related issues happening. But I also find that there’s probably a tremendous amount of things we can do that are within our control to help have strong, healthy bones throughout our lifetime. And especially as moms to help our kids develop a really strong skeletal foundation. So to start off broad can you walk us through some of the factors that go into bone health and especially maybe any myths that are kind of present in the common conversation about bone health?

Margie: Yes, I think that’s such a good point because, you know, a lot of people, what people think when they think about their bones, they think that it’s an older person’s issue. I don’t need to worry about this until I’m older, you know, and they have visions of people fracturing or hunched over, and it’s just something for older people. What people don’t realize is that 90% of your bones, almost 90% of your bones is developed by age 18 in women and 20 in men. So what you do as a child is going to profoundly affect your bones as an adult. So it’s never too early.

And it’s sort of like a bank. You make deposits, you make deposits, you make deposits. And then as you get older, you may lose some bone. But if you built up that bone and you built up your structure at age 20, I mean, age 30 is when you have your absolute peak bone. So you don’t really naturally gain more at that point. So what you do with your children is going to make a big difference.

And that’s what’s sad right now, because our society has gotten way more sedentary. So things that affect bones. Exercise is huge. You know, on that jungle gym, the bones respond to the forces placed upon them. So the jumping, when people are active in the jungle gym and doing hopscotch and all these things. We’re putting force on the bones, forces on the bones. And that says, hey, we need more bone here. So we’re developing strong, active bones. But as a society, we’ve gotten more sedentary, and kids are on their phones and on the computer and they’re just sitting so much more. So the exercise piece and the jumping type of exercises, because there’s two kinds of exercises that increase bone, you know, forces like weight-bearing or impact, you know, jumping and you’re getting forces against gravity. And resistance, you know, like using weights and different things. But active kids, what we used to be, you know, playing, doing cartwheels, doing all sorts of things. You know, a lot of times that’s not done as much. So exercise is a key that’s important.

But as I said, yes, so the biggest myth I see is that people don’t realize it’s important. And at all ages, you can make a big difference. Huge difference, actually. I mean, I think we could eradicate osteoporosis if people at younger ages started realizing that this is so important and there’s so much they can do. So I think the exercise is huge.

And then also the diet, all the things that you talk about, Katie, makes a huge difference. Your bones need nutrients to grow and develop. And if we’re living on junk food, they’re not getting those nutrients. So there’s so much we can do with the diet with children. And then inflammation. Inflammation will block the bone-building cells and increase cells that break down bone. So it was interesting because Dr. Lisa Song, who’s a pediatrician who works with an integrative approach, she’s had kids in there, young kids have osteoporosis because they had different inflammatory conditions. So it’s something that if they have asthma or if they have certain things can predispose them to it. So I think knowing that, working on that, and then making sure you’re doing things to counteract, that as well because sometimes you can’t avoid certain of the medications.

So yes. So I think in terms of our kids, we have a huge role. We can go into all this in more detail, but also in terms of young mothers, you know, people think, oh, I’m not going to worry about my bones until I get older. Just the opposite. If you do certain types of exercise, it’s not just walking. If you do certain types of exercises throughout life, you’re going to have stronger bones as well as your diet. So it’s, you know, it’s something that people, it upsets me because people don’t address it. And they sort of poo-poo it. Oh, I’m not interested in bones at all. I’m more interested in all these other things. But then later on in life, you know, oh, if only I would have taken this seriously, I could have prevented this. And it’s something very serious because one out of two women in the United States, it’s one out of three worldwide, will have a fracture in their lifetime due to osteoporosis. And the consequences are dire because almost 24% of people who fracture their hip will die within a year because of complications. So it’s really not a good thing and it can be preventive. So I could go on and on, but you tell me what you want me to focus on.

Katie: Yeah, I would love to go deeper on a couple of those points that you made. And I would guess that, like you said, nutrition plays a huge role and especially micronutrients. And I would guess it’s not quite as cut and dry and straightforward as just like, oh, drink milk and take calcium and your bones will be fine. I’m guessing there’s much more that goes into that. But what are some of those other factors to be aware of for both our kids and for those of us who are not children anymore, but who want to have healthy bones as we age?

Margie: Yeah, yeah, that’s such a very good point. There’s so many issues in terms of, you know, most people will know calcium is important, but a lot of people then will think, okay, I’ll just give my child more milk. That’s not the way we wanna get so much calcium because so many kids have issues with milk and casein. And, you know, so it’s not more milk, the better, or more dairy, the better, but we definitely wanna get calcium. And so often you can get that from sardines or the salmon with the bones in it, the leafy greens, the kale, bok choy, you know, collard greens. So there’s lots of great ways we can get, even some of the beans have good calcium in them.

Vitamin D is essential. And interesting talking to pediatrician, you know, when I, Dr. Lisa Song, as well as other pediatricians, they find that a lot of kids are really deficient in vitamin D. So it’s just important to check with your doctor. It’s called the 25-hydroxyvitamin D. I know she gets that on all her kids. And just to make sure, because some kids, you’re not outside, you’re not in the sun, and they tend to have vitamin D deficiency, which is a big problem with the bones.

Other deficiencies that she had been telling me was that, you know, iron, she checks something called ferritin levels. And, you know, so, you know, some kids aren’t getting enough protein. You know, you just, magnesium is a big thing. So it’s just something that you want to, make sure you’re eating from the rainbow. You’re eating a nutritious diet. And yeah, vitamin K2-7 sometimes. So there’s, you just want that good, good diet and make sure there’s no, not only are there not deficiencies, the micronutrients, but sometimes you can have digestive issues. That’s a very big thing where there’s, it’s called dysbiosis in the gut. And where you have, you know, from antibiotics, or there’s just not a good balance of the good bacteria. And the can be destructive bacteria. And they found a big correlation between, you know, your microbiome and your bone health. So it’s just a matter of, you know, working with an integrative doctor or your regular doctor on the microbiome and just seeing, you know, addressing that issue. You know, anything that’s going to cause inflammation. But I think what people are eating really makes a difference, you know, a balanced diet. And I just think there’s so much, there’s so much junk food that’s reducing the absorption, such as sugar. You know, sugar is something that actually reduces the absorption of the calcium and the magnesium. And it’s a, you know, it’s a real bone depleter. So as well as so many other, the junk food, you know. So yeah, so that’s sort of it in a nutshell.

Katie: I love that. Even more reasons to, I encourage people to focus on the nutrient density of foods, not the calories or even the macros, even though we do of course need things like protein to build muscle, which also helps our bones. But I’m like, if you set your metric as what foods can I consume that have the most nutrients available, especially the most micronutrients, I feel like that’s one simple step that can help sort of reframe your relationship with food.

You also mentioned vitamin D. I’m also a huge proponent of natural sunlight and healthy amounts, not burning obviously, but we’re meant to get sun exposure and that does so many important things in our body beyond just vitamin D too. There’s light receptors in our eyes, our circadian rhythm is influenced by our sunlight exposure. So many important things cascade from that.

You also mentioned exercise and mentioned that it’s beyond just walking. And I know walking is popular right now and I love that. I’m a huge fan of walking as well. But like you said, there are other things we need to do beyond just walking if we really want to support our bones. And I could take a guess at some of those things being maybe like weight training and actually moving heavy things around, things that you said, jumping. I’m a huge fan of sprinting because it’s one of the best things we can do for increasing our own natural growth hormone. But if someone wanted to really optimize their bones, what would you encourage them to focus on as part of their movement plan and exercise routine?

Margie: Yeah. So jumping is huge, and they’ve done studies. They’ve done studies, even 10 jumps a day or 10 to 20 jumps a day increases increased bone density. They even did studies where they had someone jump on one leg and not the other, not good for your back, but the one they increased bone density in the one hip and not the other. So jumping is great. You know, as I said, even 10 jumps twice a day, they found increased bone density. So yes. So I think jumping any of those sprinting things for young people, you know, for people. And again, even now they found people with osteoporosis are able to do these unders, but I would recommend guidance for that. But for a young person or a young mother, or not even a young mother, but you know, if you don’t have any issues, absolutely. So it’s the forces, it’s the impact.

So they did a study showing that people, you know, really increase their bone density. What did they do? They did deadlifts. They, they lifted up on a bar and jumped down. So it’s those forces, but it has to be safe. key is Katie, that a lot of people don’t have good posture. They’re not in good alignment. And so they just say, oh, I’m going to do this exercise routine cause I saw that it helps. And they have to learn how to stabilize. You must know how to stabilize your core prior to doing any strength training.

And there’s a couple of components to that. You know, one is the pelvic floor, which I think people often ignore. And a lot of times in exercise programs, they do not tell people that part of stabilizing is to do like a mini-Kegel. So, you know, I always have people bring their belly button in and up and do also, and do like a Kegel first belly button in and up. And then, and you’re going to do the exertion on the exhale. So you’re nice and supported, but a lot of people, you know, you have to have a good support structure before you can do any of the weight training. And, you know, I always say, if you don’t know, work with a physical therapist or see a physical therapist or a trainer, who’s really trained in strength and conditioning. And, but that’s what you want. It’s that impact. It’s the forces in a safe way.

So let’s say, so deadlifts or tight, you know, any type of resistance training is going to, is going to help improve the bones where the bones have the most issues and because it’s the areas it’s called trabecular bone. The spine, the hips, and the wrist. And so I see people doing lots of biceps, lots of triceps, but they don’t do a lot for the spine. So that’s where working on your back muscles is going to make such a big difference. And doing squats. Squats are amazing. And you can do squats with weights. You can do lunges, all of those activities, utilizing weights. And then lifting, lifting the barbell. Safe though.

I’m such a big believer in just not trying some of these things. Because if your shoulder, let’s say the person, for example, who has round, posture is key. One of the gifts that I have for everybody has posture exercises in it because it’s such a big deal. And it drives me crazy as a physical therapist. I’ve taught ergonomics for years. You know, people really, you know, you see people just sitting over the computer and so slouched and what happens in that position is your shoulder, besides so many things, your shoulder’s in impingement. You can’t even lift it all the way. So the posture is so essential when you’re, I believe in posture exercises during the day, but it’s just very, very important to make sure when you do any of these exercises that you’re in alignment. I always say have your, think of your, a string attached to the top of your head and your spine is lengthening. You know, because just so often we’re compressed.

So anyway, the, yeah, so I think the weight training, the resistance, and it doesn’t have to be a lot. That’s the beauty of this. It can be twice a week. You don’t have to spend, you definitely never want the strength training every day. You want it, you know, no more than every other day, but twice a week has been shown to be effective. And the key is it’s not the repetitions though. It’s the amount of weight. So even you know, even in the one study, they only did five repetitions, but usually like eight to 10 repetitions. You’d rather do lower repetitions, higher weight in a safe way. And that’s what’s really been shown to increase bone.

But you have to have fun. You have to like it. You know, so often I’ll see someone, oh, you know, they’re doing a treadmill or they’re doing something. Oh, I have to do this. And no, fine. There’s a million different ways that you can exercise that are fun. And they found the combination, you know, doing Pilates and doing dance with weight training, you know, or doing all these different things. You’re going to get different muscle groups. You’re going to enjoy. And that stress piece is so important. That’s another thing that’s, that’s, we can talk about it’s overlooked when it comes to the bones. So yes. So, so it’s weight, it’s weight bearing, you know, weight going through the bones as well as resistance. So that, that’s, what’s missing. And I’m talking all the mothers just added, it doesn’t have to take a lot of time. It really doesn’t. It just needs to be part of your program. Even if you’re doing aerobics and all these wonderful things, you want to add the weights and you want to add impact. Those are the two things.

Katie: Yeah, I love how Dr. Gabrielle Lyon talks about muscle being like the organ of longevity and how we often hear the skin is the body’s biggest organ. And she’s like, I would challenge that. I would say the muscle is actually the body’s biggest organ. But the great thing here is it’s a place where compounding really comes into effect because as you start building muscle, it becomes easier to build and maintain muscle. And then the more muscle mass you have, from what I’ve read, that’s a very healthy thing for your bones to maintain lean muscle mass as you get older. And so as this compounds and the stronger you get, the more muscle you maintain and it really grows over time. It was purely a joke, but I saw this floating around social media, the suggestion that for moms, every time you hear the word mom, just do an air squat and you’ll have like legs of steel in no time, which is a funny thought, but actually a great trigger if you think of it to just start doing squats more throughout the day.

I think another thing we hear when it comes to bone health, though, is that at least I’ve heard people say that they were told by their doctor that they had the early stages of osteoporosis and that they couldn’t improve their bones. The best they could do was not get weaker. And I would love your take on this. Is that true or can we actually make our bones stronger again, even if they’ve already kind of gotten to a not optimal place?

Margie: Yes, that’s what’s so good, Katie. And a lot of times the conventional doctors just aren’t aware of this, but now there’s studies. I see this all the time, people improving their bone density. And for so many different reasons, even just the exercise. You know, the thing with the bones is if someone has already lost a little bone, and it could be that they never developed a lot as a child, whether they had an eating disorder or they were sedentary, or there’s actually something going on. So you sort of need to figure out what may be the root cause. You know, are you on steroids? Or is there a medication you’re taking? And we can talk about one of them that’s so common, the acid reflux medication, because that’s common with a lot of children. But the point is, is that no, it’s not true. I have people in their 80s, in their 90s, you know, who can improve their bone density.

And there’s a study that was done in Australia called the Liffmore trial. And that was so exciting, because they took people who had bone loss, older people, and who had osteoporosis. And they showed they were able to, with this, you know, more intense exercise program, increase bone density. But they have shown that exercise can increase bone density. And then what I’ve seen, and I’ve been doing this for over 25 years. So what I’ve seen, though, is when you figure out what’s causing the inflammation, you know, what sometimes you can be eating the best diet, it’s sort of like a hose. If you’re stepping on it, and you’re not getting the nutrition, you know, what good is it? So if you can figure out what the problem is, and reduce the inflammation, you also get better. And with the area, it’s so crazy. What I see so much of is gluten. So many people find out they’re having, you know, an inflammatory problem, and they have an issue with gluten. And they end up cutting out the gluten. And then what happens? Their bone density improves, but their eczema gets better. Their arthritis gets better. You know, so whatever is your inflammatory issue.

But it just, it’s funny, because I just recently I’ve had a few summits on osteoporosis. So I’ve had, you know, over 50 speakers. And so many of the speakers agreed that that’s what they see so much of this, with gluten being a problem. But the point being, my point to answer your question, is that when you remove the causes of the inflammation, yes, then you can improve bone density. And another big thing I should talk about is hormones. Because there’s a time period where you can actually prevent bone loss, you know, in terms of when people start having perimenopause or, you know, change of life. At that age, you really could work with a practitioner on bioidentical hormones and prevent bone loss. And for years, that was thought of unsafe, but that’s completely changed now. So it’s an area that’s often overlooked, but yet an area of prevention. But anyway, but there’s so much you can do. If you’ve lost bone, do not worry because there’s so much you can do to improve it.

And the other area, though, that I think is so important is that, you know, people don’t just, the key is fractures. It’s not worrying so much about the bone density test because that just tells you how much bone you have there. It doesn’t tell the quality. So you can have two people with the exact same score. One falls and fractures and one has flexible bones. Nothing happens because the quality of the bone’s so much better. And so, and there are tests, there’s a test called the TBS or trabecular bone score that you can get if you do get a bone density, and that will tell you the quality of the bone as well. But the point being, there’s a lot that can be done. And no, you don’t have to, you know, that’s totally not true. Because people I’ve seen this for so many years, able to improve their bone density.

But as I was saying, falls are big deal. Because that’s usually when a fracture happens is from a fall. And as we get older, if we don’t use it, we lose it. And I really didn’t talk about balance exercises because everybody can work on their balance throughout life, so that you’re not more at risk to fall. And my favorite is Qi Gong, tai chi, that’s what’s been shown to be so, so powerful, really the best I found in terms of balancing, you know, balance exercises, but there’s so many that can be done. And I think that that’s really important and will make a big difference. And just being mindful because so many times people fall because they’re looking at their cell phone, they’re crossing the street, or they have 20,000 things on their mind. And they’re not focusing on they’re just walking. So I think, you know, taking a breath, being more mindful, focusing on what you’re doing, living in the moment, and working on your balance can make a huge difference as well.

Katie: So many good tips. I’m taking lots of notes for the show notes and putting another check in the column of like, oh, jumping on the trampoline with my kids is also benefiting my bones. And I love the they’re jumping. I even have like the mini trampoline in my house, which I’ve heard is also really good for our lymphatic system. And so in the morning I’ll try to, without any restrictive clothing, just gently jump. And I feel like that also gives a lot of great energy, but I love how, of course, when it comes to the body, all these tips you’re giving are great for our bones and they ripple over into so many other areas of health as well.

And you also mentioned the stress piece. And of course, hopefully everybody listening knows that stress is not great for our health. And of course, just knowing that doesn’t make it go away, though we talked about a lot in our first episode that can really help with that. But how does stress negatively affect our bone health?

Margie: Yes, it used to be they only had animal studies, but now they actually have studies that show that increasing stress reduces bone density. And the reason is because stress, the cortisol, the stress hormone increases the activity of what’s called the osteoclast. Those are the cells that break down bone and reduces the activity of the osteoblast, the bone-building cells. And so, you know, it’s something that people, what I see is people don’t pay attention to this. You know, I see people and they come to me and they’re so worried. Oh my gosh, am I eating the right foods? Am I doing the right exercises? And they don’t realize that the stress piece itself can be reducing your bone density and really affecting negatively affecting your bones. So I always start people and even happiness. They’ve shown a correlation between, you know, increased happiness and bone density. So people who are more content with their life had higher bone density.

But where I always start with people is just the breath. And I have people, the first, whenever I see people, the first thing I start with is just before you eat, taking some nice deep breaths. Because oftentimes when we’re eating, we’re rushing, we’re shoving. And I know as a physical therapist, I used to do that. You know, you just wanted to eat as fast as possible to get to your next patient. But what happens, the body thinks it’s, the body thinks that you’re under stress. And so the body sort of shuts down because it thinks, you know, you’re running from a tiger. And that’s not, it’s not going to help with digestion. So by just stopping, taking some nice deep belly breaths before you eat, you know, there’s many different ways to do it, but they’re all good. And then you’re in the parasympathetic, you know, you’re in this parasympathetic nervous system, which is for rest and digest. And so that will help absorb your nutrients. You’ll eat slower, you’ll chew your food, and you’ll end up, it’s just a win-win. Plus, it’s one more time during the day you’re just stopping and letting your body relax. And, you know, at least three times a day that you’re eating, you’re going to be doing that activity. So that’s always where I start with people.

But any stress reduction, again, you know, one thing at a time, just, you know, okay, you know what? Maybe I am a little stressed. I mean, none of these moms are, right? I’m just teasing. But the breath is always a good one. And if you do it right before you eat, that can also help, as I said, with absorbing your nutrients. But stress is a big deal. It’s something I work on in all of my programs, my bones program, everything, because it does play a role. And when people realize that, plus it’s great. Who doesn’t wanna have tools in their toolbox that they’re not this stressed-out person and that will affect everybody around them.

And it’s just, I mean, I have to be honest. So I’ve always been the happy person. You know, I’m one of those glass-half-full people, always was, but I was not stress my I was quite type A and that was my mother was the same way. And so I had to really work at this it wasn’t that this came naturally for me even though I was happy, I was quite stressed out. And so I yeah I got a speeding ticket on the way to I signed up for an eight-week mindfulness meditation program but that was the best thing that ever happened to me because it hit me in the head that you were not practicing what you preached, and so I just took these habits and made them a priority in my life and now I go with the flow it’s amazing the difference how your life is truly I mean forget about the bones it’s so transformative to live in the flow and to be able because life’s not easy we know that and we get hit with all sorts of things.

But if we practice these techniques, we can ride those waves and we can get through them. And so I just think the stress piece and figuring out what practices work for you is just so life-changing. And the other thing I just wanted to say is that strength, what you said before about strength, it is so empowering. Oh, my gosh. Women who are in their 70s and they’re so strong, they’re able to do things by themselves. It’s amazing. So the sooner you can get started on that. It’s never too early, never too late. But you just feel so empowered and so good. And it’s just good for every part of your body. It’s like you said. So, yes, I’m such a big believer in the importance of that. And even twice a week is going to change your life. I promise you.

Katie: I love it. And I love what you said about cultivating that inner mindset of peace and resilience to stress and not being stressed. I think I recently got interviewed by someone who’s kind of going viral on Instagram and they asked me, what are the three worst things you can put in your body? And I think they wanted me to say like glyphosate and gluten and sugar. And what I said was fear, guilt, and shame because even if you’re doing all the right things, and I think you had it beautifully in our first episode, you said blame, shame, and complaining. But I’m like, even if you’re doing all the right things by the book perfectly, because I did that for years, nothing changed until my inner experience changed. And until like we talked about in our first episode, until I learned to cultivate happiness and peace and joy and not to be living in a state of stress all the time, that ripples into every aspect of life.

I’d love to briefly touch on testing a little bit more too. You mentioned one test that can be really helpful. I’m curious if there are other tests that are good to just have as a baseline. Like for instance, I recently did just out of curiosity a DEXA scan. And I love getting to see muscle versus fat versus visceral fat and also bone density. I don’t know if you consider that a helpful test, but if it’s available, what do you recommend for people to just kind of keep an eye on their bone health?

Margie: Yeah, no, I think, you know because interesting, what’s not good is that you know, I think, what is it? The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, I’m trying to think what association, but anyway, a lot of times they say, oh, don’t get a DEXA until you’re like 65. Well, that to me is so backward. Find out what’s going on, you know, typically at least before menopause, at least. But if you have any issues, get it earlier and see what might be happening. So I like the DEXA, but as I said before, I really like the trabecular bone score, the TBS. And you can find a DEXA, you know, if you Google it, you’ll see what facilities, it’s just software that they use with the DEXA. So you can get a lot more information in terms of the quality, not just the quantity of the bone, but the DEXA itself will just give you an idea of where you are.

And it looks, it does two things. It gives you a T score and a Z score. The T score is they take your bones and compare it to a 30-year-old and how many standard deviations away from that you are. So if you’re zero to minus one, they consider that normal. Minus one to minus 2.5 is considered osteopenia. So if you’re a bone, you’re a bone, minus 2.5 and lowers osteoporosis. So they just, that’s how they determine that. So I think the DEXA is very good.

But also if there’s any reason that you might be losing bone, if there’s any possibility, there’s a great test called the CTX, the C-telopeptide, it’s a blood test. And it shows what’s going on with the osteoclast, the bone breakdown cells. And oftentimes doctors don’t do this, but it’s so important. Because you’ll get an idea if there really is some, or if you’ve had a lot of fractures. I mean, there are people who are younger who have issues and they’re constantly fracturing everything. So you’ll see is something going on, some inflammation that’s causing these cells to be overactive and breakdown bone. So there’s the CTX and then there’s the P1MP, which shows the bone-building cells. Not everybody needs this, but if you have an issue, I think it’s a wonderful test because you can really see, what might be happening.

But then I think also, you know, you want, I also like micronutrient testing. I like Vibrant Health. And because you can just see, are you missing something? You know, are you, what is your micronutrient level? So I think those are, that’s valuable. You know, everybody doesn’t have to take that, but it certainly has given me good information, as well as Vibrant America has a very good gluten test. It’s, it’s called the Wheat Zoomer. And I think that’s a wonderful test to help if you have an issue with wheat, gluten sensitivity, or it’ll also show, you know, it’s leaky gut. So it’s a very helpful test I found for people.

And then if you do have inflammation, you can look at your, something called the homocysteine level, because that affects bone, as well as the high-resolution C-reactive protein, it’s called, you know, just other tests. Not that everybody has to do this, but if there are issues, these are tests at certain times are not looked at but can give you so much information. So I think that, yeah, I think that’s where I’d start. But I do think that it’s certainly good at all ages and they, to see where you’re at, you know, in terms of if you have any issues or, you know, if you’ve had fractures, if you’ve had things that might predispose you to this, you know, to bone loss, then yeah, the sooner you can deal with it, the better for sure.

Katie: And I know there’s so much more in this topic than we can cover in one podcast episode, but that you have many, many more resources, especially for someone who is acutely trying to figure this out. And I’ll make sure they’re linked in the show notes. But can you talk to us about the resources you have available? And I believe there might also be a code people can use to be able to access it.

Margie: Yeah, yeah. So a couple of great resources. Well, one is just something that you can just have for free and it’s Improve Your Bone Health Naturally mini course. So I do like a half hour on the key things, the key nutrients, as well as just the basics of an integrative approach to bone health that also has a calcium sheet that you can look at and sort of get an idea of your calcium level now, because in the United States, they recommend anyone under 50 is a thousand milligrams over. It’s a little different in other countries, but, you know, and then over 50 is 1200, but you want, you don’t want to take too much calcium. I see that. I see that a lot where the doctor will put someone on calcium and they’re already getting it in their diet. So more is not better with calcium. So you certainly don’t want more than that. You don’t want more than the 1200. So look at your food. It’s always best if you can to get as much as you can in your food and then only supplement if you’re not getting enough in your food. So there’s a calcium chart.

Then the third part of that sheet has a little bit about relaxation, some relax. It’s an audio, some relaxation. And then the last part is posture exercises because posture is so important. So I did a program, Two Weeks to Improve Posture, and really just showed videos, really short videos of things you can do for, to improve your posture. So that’s in there as well. And even tech snack, you know, it’s a big problem today. And so you can, you know, how to sit, how to stand, just easy things you can do. And, and I promise you those will improve your posture. We, I run, I oversee all the programs, osteoporosis programs in the state of New Jersey. And so I created certain exercises programs and this posture program was in it and people have totally, it’s not too late to ever improve your posture. So people just by doing these easy exercises, it can make a difference. So that’s in that sheet.

And then I also have a class, it’s like a roadmap that goes in more detail with resources and even has strength training in it, you know, actual classes that people, people can, can do. And, you know, even a osteoporosis bundle of exercises. So yeah, so all of that you can have for 50% reduced if you use wellnessmama because I want to help as many people as possible and get the tools and strategies so that they don’t have to be a statistic and they can live their life, not being afraid, but being empowered because it’s, it’s, you know, life’s too short. We want to enjoy it. Right, Katie?

Katie: Exactly. I’ll make sure all those links are in the show notes. If you are listening on the go, that’s all at wellnessmama.com. And this has been such a fun conversation. I know I learned a lot and you are just an absolute joy to talk to. Thank you so much for your time and for all that you’ve shared today.

Margie: Oh, thank you so much for having me here, Katie. It’s been such a pleasure.

Katie: And thanks as always to all of you for listening and sharing your most valuable resources, your time, your energy, and your attention with us today. We’re so grateful that you did. And I hope that you will join me again on the next episode of the Wellness Mama Podcast.

If you’re enjoying these interviews, would you please take two minutes to leave a rating or review on iTunes for me? Doing this helps more people to find the podcast, which means even more moms and families could benefit from the information. I really appreciate your time, and thanks as always for listening.

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About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


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