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TMDI (Too Much Depressing Info)

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

I have written before about a research study I participated in recently. I have actually done quite a lot of similar studies for this same research institute. There is a small incentive payment (but it's a lot of money for someone like me who is always struggling financially), the requirements have never been onerous, and I always get information about my weight, bone density, etc.

Today there was a brief seminar to explain what our study results meant. I hadn't really looked at them all that closely before. The result for me of looking closely at the results was major depression. (Not in a medical sense.)

My bone density is currently in the 'green' area, which means in the normal range. However, it is just barely in the green area, and certain critical areas of bone are well into the 'osteopenia' range (spine, pelvis). In addition, it is on a downward trend. I am not that old! If things don't change drastically, I will have severe osteoporosis by the time I'm 70, if I live that long. The only part of my skeleton that has decent density is my arms...and they are not terribly critical to my mobility, independence, etc.

To top that off, my weight/obesity problem is worse than I had realised. Most people, looking at me, would say that I am fat, but I am not sure all that many would call me obese. Which I am by BMI, for sure (32).

However, my body fat percentage was measured by the DEXA test, which we were told is the only truly accurate measurement of body fat. Every other method - calipers, even the 'bod pod,' provide just estimates. And, just to made bad worse, the DEXA test measures body fat consistently quite a bit higher than all the other, estimating methods. Well, they did a whole bunch of tests, and determined that the higher, DEXA numbers are right. body fat percentage is 50.4%!!!! That is appalling - even though I know I'm fat, I did not think it was that bad! More than half of my weight is just...fat. And, again making bad worse, my abdominal fat was measured at 53% of my overall fat.

I am still digesting (pun sort of intended) the meaning of all this. On the plus side, my fasting glucose measurement was well within the normal range. Whatever my other problems, at least at this point I don't have diabetes.


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  • *MAMA*2*BOYS*
    Aw, hugs! :( I'm so sorry! I'm assuming that you were given information on what you should do, particularly regarding your bone density results..? We were just covering osteoporosis in my Anatomy and Physiology class. Hopefully you are making sure that you get enough dietary calcium and vitamin D (it is easier for your body to absorb calcium if it comes from food as opposed to vitamins, and getting 15-20 minutes of sunlight each day without sunscreen on, depending on where you live should provide enough vitamin D- if you live in the northern half of the U.S. and don't drink very much enriched milk, you may need a supplement). Just remember, without vitamin D, your body cannot absorb calcium. After about age 30, you can no longer increase your bone density, but getting enough calcium and vitamin D in your diet can limit the amount of calcium that your body draws from your bones to maintain your blood calcium levels. Also, high-impact, weight bearing exercise may help slow bone loss and it will certainly help lower your body fat ratio! I'm sure I just repeated things that you already know, but I wish you good luck in taking what you have learned from this study and using it to better your health! emoticon
    1903 days ago
    Welll, on the bright side, at least you caught the osteo stuff now and can take preventative measures. And last I heard, you can actually INCREASE your bone density with exercise and the right combination of vitamins and minerals- Calcium being the most important. And body fat levels are always changing, especially here on SP... so don't beat yourself up over that. It sounds like using the DEXA test as a measuring tool, we'd all have higher BMIs than we think we have. And I think most of us carry most of our fat in our bellies- I know I do! So cheer up, this is all stuff you have some control over and you're at the right place to do it! You can do this! emoticon emoticon
    1903 days ago
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