Aging Bones - What Happens?

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Despite what we may think, our bones are not static. They are changing constantly throughout our lives. The skeleton is a dynamic system that is continuously breaking down old bone and growing new bone. If our bodies make new bone faster than it can break down the old bone, bone mass is increased. But if our bodies can’t make new bone fast enough or it breaks down old bone too fast, bone mass decreases. This is called osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis is not inevitable

As children we build bone mass so fast that our bone mass increases very quickly, but as we get older this process inevitably slows down. We reach our peak bone mass in our mid 30s, after this age bones break down faster than the body is able to create them. Is osteoporosis unavoidable then? No, as we will demonstrate throughout this website, the action needed to counteract this inevitable development is cheap and straightforward to implement.

This peak bone mass is maintained throughout most of our middle age, but by the time we approach older age we start breaking down more bone than we are making. In women this process is even more pronounced, and during the years surrounding the menopause women can lose up to 20% of their bone density. It is vital that we understand how our bones age and change with us so we are able to take steps to improve our bone health well into old age.

How do our bones age?

Our bones are made of a thick outer shell, which surrounds a strong mesh network filled with calcium salts, collagen, and other important minerals. When the internal mesh becomes too thin, it can break easily. The more we can do to encourage our bodies to produce new bone and accumulate bone mass in our younger years, the less likely we are to develop osteoporosis as we age. If we think of our skeletal system like a bank or a pension, we are saving up bone for later in life.

By implementing simple lifestyle changes we can build up enough credit in our bone density to weather the changes in our skeletal system, ensuring good bone health throughout our lives. It’s never too late to start saving but the earlier the better for us all.

Why not take our test and see which areas you can take action in to improve your bone health?

Have some questions about bone health and osteoporosis? Check out our FAQs section.