Bone Health Panel: Patient Overview
What Is Bone Aging?
Bone turnover is a process that takes place throughout our lifetimes. It is a delicate balance between bone formation and breakdown.
In childhood and early adulthood, the process is strongly in favor of bone formation, and this continues up to the age of 20 to 30 years.
From then on, there is a gradual thinning of bone with age, called osteoporosis. Around the onset of menopause, bone turnover tilts in favor of
bone breakdown. This is due to the persistent imbalance or decline in estrogen, progesterone, and other hormones.
How Is It Related to Menopause?
During cycling years most women have enough ovarian output of progesterone and estrogen. These two hormones promote bone growth. Around the
mid-forties (usually 3 to 4 years before cessation of menstruation), the levels of estrogen and progesterone start to gradually drop off, thus
accelerating bone dissolution. In men, the decrease in testosterone can lead to a similar picture. Men convert testosterone into estrogen; therefore,
a decrease in testosterone can reduce estrogen levels.
Does It Affect My Health?
Yes, it does.
Bone aging leads to a disease called osteoporosis that results in bone thinning and, more importantly, bone fragility. Osteoporosis can affect you
and your loved ones in several ways:
- Middle-aged and elderly people lose a few inches of their height due to osteoporosis.
- Many seniors are prone to hip fractures secondary to osteoporosis.
- 1.5 million bone fractures, at various body sites, occur annually secondary to osteoporosis.
Am I at Risk for Osteoporosis?
Your risk for osteoporosis increases with:
• Sedentary lifestyle
• Fair complexion
• Alcohol consumption
• Family history of osteoporosis
• The onset of menopause...and when your doctor says that you have:
- Thyroid disease
- Adrenal impairment
- Kidney disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
If you are at a high risk for developing osteoporosis, your physician has different measures and options to objectively assess your risks. These include:
• Bone Density Measurement
—Employs radioactive or x-ray sources to measure your bone strength and mineral content.
• Urine Testing
—Employs one random (any time of day) urinary specimen to assess the rate of bone breakdown in your body.
What Does Your Lab Offer Me?
We offer the Pyrilinks-D (DPD) urine test, which assesses bone breakdown, in combination with a saliva test that measures hormone levels of estrogen,
progesterone, DHEA, FSH, testosterone and two cortisols.
Uses for the Bone Health Panel
Your doctor can use the Pyrilinks-D urine test within this panel to:
• Screen for osteoporosis in conjunction with bone densitometry.
• As a follow-up test to monitor the bone response in hormone replacement therapy and/ or osteoporosis treatment protocols.
Monitoring hormone replacement therapy through our lab also includes salivary hormone measurements of estradiol, estrone, estriol, progesterone,
DHEA and testosterone—all from one salivary sample (PostM™ or PeriM™).