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Osteoporosis: How Fast Are You Losing Bone?

Ronald Grisanti D.C., D.A.B.C.O., D.A.C.B.N., M.S.
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Osteoporosis is reaching an epidemic status. It leads to 1.5 million fractures per year.

The traditional way one is evaluated for osteoporosis is the standard Bone Density Test. Although important to have done, this is a static test and "only" provides information on the amount of bone that has already been lost.

Unfortunately it does not provide data on the rate of bone loss.

Wouldn't it be wise to know how fast you are losing bone?

Wouldn't it be of great value to know if the treatment you are doing is slowing down the rate of bone loss?

Well the good news is there is a functional medicine test called the Bone Resorption Assessment that provides an accurate measurement of the rate of bone turnover.

Testing allows the practitioner to identify those more likely to develop osteoporosis, to intervene before significant loss has occurred, and to monitor the efficacy of treatment regimens.

It is important to identify individuals currently losing bone at an accelerated rate so that effective treatment can begin before significant bone loss has occurred.

Advantages of Urinary Bone Resorption Testing

Biochemical markers are convenient and inexpensive dynamic measures of bone turnover.

Biomechanical markers provide immediate information on the rate of bone loss, thus helping to predict future losses.

Bone density tests, unlike biochemical markers, are inconvenient for regular monitoring of therapies due to invasiveness and expense.

The following is an actual bone resorption test:

This test reflects a high rate of bone loss
This test reflects a high rate of bone loss

The following is the functional medicine science behind the test:

Pyridinium crosslinks are stabilizers of collagen molecules.Pyridinium crosslinks consist of both pyridinoline (PYD) and deoxypyridinoline (DPD). Deoxypyridinoline is found predominantly in bone tissue, whereas pyridinoline is found in both bone and cartilage. Bone collagen contains both pyridinoline (PYD), which is reflective of collagen loss of all types, and its component deoxypyridinoline (DPD), which specifically reflects bone collagen.

Presence in the urine of higher than normal amounts of PYD and DPD indicate a rapid rate of bone loss.

The test above reveals that the level of pyridinium crosslinks is elevated. Abnormally high pyridinium crosslinks in urine suggest increased cartilage, connective tissue, and/or bone resorption. 

Again in the test above, the level of deoxypyridinoline (DPD) is elevated, indicating an increased rate of bone loss.

In individuals with no underlying bone disease, this is an important marker in the development of osteoporosis.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with osteoporosis, I strongly recommend that you have your doctor order a bone resorption test. If your doctor is not trained in functional medicine, then I recommend consulting with a health professional trained in functional medicine and have them evaluate you and find out "why" you have osteoporosis. 

Simply taking the common family of osteoporosis drugs called bisphosphonates like Actonel, Boniva and Fosamax without seeking to identify the underlying reason for why you have the disease is not wise.

Again, be pro-active in your treatment and management of osteoporosis and find someone who specializes in functional medicine.

The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Grisanti and his functional medicine community. Dr. Grisanti encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.

This content may be copied in full, with copyright, contact, creation and information intact, without specific permission, when used only in a not-for-profit format. If any other use is desired, permission in writing from Dr. Grisanti is required.