I’ve got a riddle for you.
When’s a good bone-density score not worth the paper it’s written on?
The answer may shock you.
It turns out that if you’re in your golden years…65 or older…and a Type II diabetic, despite having had a good score on a bone-density test you’re as likely to suffer a bone fracture as someone with osteoporosis.
Bone-strength tests look at bone-mineral density and give what is called a T score. A 2.5 or lower T score means that a person has osteoporosis and is at a high risk of breaking bones.
Bone density tests can be deceiving
But according to the results of a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), diabetics 65 and older who have a T score of just minus 2 have about the same risk of breaking a bone.
Meaning, of course, that countless people have been sent home having been told their bone density is fine only to unexpectedly suffer from a painful broken hip or other fracture. Talk about an accident waiting to happen!
In fact, during an eight-year-follow-up for this study 32 of 1,199 diabetic men experienced hip fractures and 133 suffered other fractures. And in a 13-year follow-up of 770 diabetic women, 84 suffered from hip fractures and 262 had other types of broken bones.
Diabetics recheck your T score to prevent fractures
The bottom line is that if you’re a senior with diabetes and have been told that you have a low risk of fracture, you should seriously consider checking back with your doctor to see what your actual T score was. (In fact, as soon as I’m done writing this, I’m going to be giving my mother a call to check on what her most recent score was.)
But keep in mind that it takes a long time for new research to trickle down to the average doctor these days and that, in fact, you might be more informed than he is on this subject. So be prepared for him to question why you’re even concerned in the first place. If he does, just direct him to the June 1’st issue of JAMA or print out a copy of this e-letter for him.
If you discover that your score was a minus 2, you might want to discuss what your options are for being treated for osteoporosis.
But if you do, don’t fall for those so-called bone-building drugs that Sally Fields pushes on television. For more information on why they should be a last resort and what natural options you have, see For stronger bones toss that prescription.