Besides providing our body a structural framework which allows our muscles, ligaments, and connective tissue to work, our bones provide a mineral reserve that our body calls upon during times of depletion and stress.
Contained within our bone tissue are large amounts of important minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, boron, protein, and vitamins. These are used by our body, released from our bones, to drive other essential chemical reactions in the body. For long term bone and overall health, your bones need to have an adequate supply on reserve.
Why is bone health so important to the rest of our body? Our bone marrow, the innermost portion of our bones, is the “manufacturing plant” for all our blood cells. Bone marrow makes our red blood cells, which carry precious oxygen to our organs and glands, and returns the gaseous waste product carbon dioxide back to our lungs. Bone marrow makes all of our immune cells, called white blood cells, which are the guardians of our health. Our bone marrow also makes platelets, the third type of blood cell, which serves to clot blood when we are bleeding. When our bone health suffers, only a good “Health Detective” will seek out the underlying cause.
Thick Bone Versus Strong Healthy Bone
It is the quality of a bone’s composition that makes them strong, not necessarily the thickness. Because conventional approaches only look at thickness, and not bone quality, the structural integrity of our skeletal system is suboptimal. For example, one type of conventional approach allows weaker, poorer quality bone tissue to build up to achieve thicker bones. The quality of these thicker bones often contains dead bone tissue that should have been removed in the first place. Good quality bone means that the bone is of strong architecture.
At Fundamental Health Solutions we use a more sensitive laboratory test called the NTx Osteomark Urinary Assay to assess bone health. The NTx urinary assay measures a specific amino acid unique to bone which is found in the urine and detects subtle changes in bone loss, which occurs in everyone over the age of 50. This test provides more information than traditional tests, such as a DEXA scan, without radiation exposure.
DEXA Scan Versus The NTx Urinary Test
The NTx Osteomark Urinary Assay measures present, not past bone loss and it measures the bone loss rate. Unlike DEXA scans, we can measure your bone health every 3 months, or less, versus annually. This also allows us to monitor the effectiveness of the recommended protocol, as well as measuring system wide bone loss, versus (DEXA) only focal bone loss. The NTx Urinary test is an easy and non-invasive way for our patients that enables us to monitor and identify potential problems with your bones before they turn into a more serious problem.