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how do you want to be, feel, and look in 2018?

2018: The Year of Deliberate Creation

On these long winter nights, my attention is often drawn inward. Cozying up to a blazing wood stove, I am ready for my favorite topic of contemplation:

“Knowing that my choices will determine my life experience, what life experiences and personal transformation do I want in 2018? More important, what deliberate actions am I willing to take to achieve my goals?”

As the new year begins, I encourage you to take advantage of these quiet winter nights to answer your own soul-searching questions:

  • How do you want to be, feel and look in the coming year?
  • Have you joined the critical mass of women taking responsibility for their health, perhaps starting with bone health?
  • The ancient Chinese proverb notes, “If we keep going in the same direction we will end up right where we are headed.” Where are you headed, and is that the direction you want?

As for me, I’m using the winter’s quietude to reset my sights and plant new seeds, knowing that after a few months of rest, these uplifting initiatives will sprout, bringing joy, growth, and fulfillment in 2018.

Here’s my plan for 2018:

  • Working with my colleagues at the Center for Better Bones, we will build an even stronger, more informed tribe of women willing and able to take charge of their bone and overall health.
  • I will share my knowledge with women worldwide so they may do what women have done throughout the ages: protect and nurture the fires of health and well-being.
  • I’ll offer a new weekly “Wisdom” social media posting for you to consider, respond to, and share with others. Together we can create an uplifting, positive energy capable of moving everyone forward.
  • My dedicated team at the Center for Better Bones will make our time-tested Better Bones, Better Body Program more affordable and available to every interested woman through our new community online classes. (More on this coming soon!) Together we’ll transform both the way women themselves,and the medical profession, view and treat bone health concerns.
  • Finally, in a spirit of sisterhood and joy, we at the Center for Better Bones are offering “Love Your Bones, Love Your Life,” our first ever 4-day education/inspiration retreat in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, March 2018. (Learn more.) Don’t worry if you can’t attend this time… there will be other retreats!

New Year’s is a logical time of year to appreciate your personal growth and plan for the coming year. I invite you to join me as we create Better Bones and a Better Body in 2018. I’ll be here to support you all along the way.

Together will rewrite the book on women’s bone health!

why bone talk is important to you

Your bones listen and talk…really!

Our skeleton might seem like a silent partner that quietly provides us with a solid framework, a place for muscles to attach, an incubator for red blood cells and a gigantic storehouse for alkaline mineral compounds. In reality, however, our bones are anything but silent. Like text messages pinging back and forth on a smart phone, our bones and our bodies are in constant conversation.

What are they talking about?

Bones are the body’s “great communicator”

When your body talks to your bones, it does so through chemical messengers you’re likely familiar with: hormones like estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, growth factors, thyroid and parathyroid hormones, and vitamin D, among others.  This larger endocrine system regulates the development, maintenance and renewal of bone. Your amazing skeleton listens to these silent chemical messages very carefully — but it not only receives messages, it also sends them out to every other tissue in the body, creating a complex network of information flowing out of the bones.

Here’s a simplified overview of how our skeleton “talks” through the hormones it produces:

Osteocalcin: This osteoblast-derived hormone helps regulate whole-body energy metabolism and blood sugar control by stimulating the production of insulin. It also stimulates the brain to impact memory and mood. In men, osteocalcin encourages the testicles to produce testosterone.

Lipocalcin 2: A hormone dispatched by bone to help fight bacterial infections, manage fat as an important fuel source, and talk to the brain about appetite control.

Sclerostin: A bone-derived hormone known to control bone growth. Sclerostin is also dispatched by bone to manage fat as an important fuel source. In mice this hormone helps convert “bad” white fat to energy-burning beige or brown fat.

Leptin and adiponectin: These two hormones are produced by the bone marrow and white adipose (fat) tissue. Leptin is a key regulator of energy homeostasis and acts as an indicator of the body’s long-term energy reserves.  This hormone signals the hypothalamus to regulate satiety, energy balance, fertility and immune function.  Without leptin, you have insatiable hunger and obesity develops.

Adiponectin: This is a protein produced by bone marrow fat cells (adipocytes). Decreased circulating adiponectin is an established biomarker for increased risk of cardiometabolic diseases.

Fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF 23): Bones use this messenger to tell the kidneys to rid the body of extra phosphates that build up in certain genetic disorders.

Why “bone talk” is important to you

Our skeleton is a very complex and intelligent organ directing system-wide essential functions. Much of this bone-derived chat is aimed at regulating whole-body energy metabolism, glucose control and appetite control—areas where bones benefit from being in the driver’s seat because our skeleton needs a great deal of energy to maintain and renew itself on a constant basis. Caring for our bones, we literally help care for the entire body.

Modern science is only beginning to understand the vast field of information and intelligence we identify as our body, and it’s on the brink of linking bone health to the development of diseases like diabetes and obesity. Bringing your awareness to the “wonders of you” enlivens that intelligence and enhances your well-being.

 

Wrist fracture and future fracture risk

What your wrist fracture may be telling you

How many of you have fallen and thrown out your hands to catch yourself?  It’s probably happened to most us, and may be one reason that in the U.S., 1 in 10 broken bones is a broken wrist.

But wrist fractures aren’t just due to accidents. Wrist fractures that occur from a fall from standing height are generally a sign of bone weakness and are the most common osteoporotic fractures.

Having seen my grandmother experience first a wrist fracture, then a collarbone fracture, and finally a hip fracture, I suspected that wrist fractures — common in middle-aged and older women — are an important sign that attention should be given to strengthening bone.

Wrist fractures signal increased fracture risk

And there’s a recent study out that confirms this suspicion. In a 2015 study from the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research (Crandall et al., 2015), the study authors looked at long-term data from more than 160,000 women and found that women who’d previously had a wrist fracture were at significantly higher risk of other fractures during the almost 12 years of follow-up — regardless of other osteoporosis risk factors.

The big news . . .  the younger the woman was when she fractured her wrist, the greater her relative risk of having another fracture later on.

I like to say, make your first fracture your last fracture. If you’ve fractured a wrist in the past, be aware that this fracture is your “canary in the coal mine” telling you to pay attention to your bones. You can take the Better Bones Profile to assess the health of your bones and your potential risk of fracture.

Reference
Crandall, C. J., Hovey, K. M., Cauley, J. A., Andrews, C. A., Curtis, J. R., Wactawski-Wende, J., Wright, N. C., Li, W., and LeBoff, M. S. Wrist fracture and risk of subsequent fractures: Findings from the Women’s Health Initiative Study. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 2015;30:2086–2095.

Top bone blogs for 2014

When I look back, 2014 was an exciting year for bone blogs!  I think my personal favorite was my blog about new information about strong women and strong bones.

In case you missed it — or any other top 2014 blogs — here are the blogs women found most helpful this year on their path to Better Bones.

Nourish the root to receive the fruit
Strong women, strong bones
25 positive intentions
Probiotics and bone health
How to overcome your fear
My own vitamin D miracle
Why I value meditation
Protein: good or bad for bone?

What blog was your favorite or what did you enjoy learning more about bone health this year? I look forward to reading your responses below to continue our conversations in 2015!

Happy New Year!