Got Bone Loss?

Get to know your thyroid… it matters to your bones.

Our Parathyroid and Thyroid glands are important for bone health. They work as a team to help regulate the balance of calcium in your body. The balance I am referring to is the balance of calcium in your bones, the calcium in your blood and the calcium you excrete.

Your Parathyroid’s (PTH) job is to monitor calcium levels in your blood. If the PTH decides the levels are falling too low the PTH releases hormones that trigger your osteoclast (the “chewers” responsible for bone breakdown) to get to work and “chew” thus releasing calcium from the bone to the blood. When the blood levels of the calcium rise to a balanced amount for the body the breakdown of bone is stopped.

If your PTH is overactive (hyperparathyroidism) your body will experience a greater increase of bone breakdown.  This can lead to states of osteopenia as well as osteoporosis. Make sure your health care practitioner tests your PTH levels if you are experiencing bone loss.

Your thyroid gland is also important in your bone health. Your thyroid gland produces the hormone calcitonin.  This hormone acts to counterbalance your PTH signals that breaks down bone. Calcitonin stimulates the kidneys to increase absorption of calcium from the blood and stimulate the bones. If you have a  slow sluggish thyroid (hypothyroidism) this can effect the quality of your bone. A low functioning thyroid can have these symptoms: dry brittle nails and hair, hair loss, dry skin, elevated cholesterol, brain fog, fatigue, inability to lose weight, weight gain, muscle and joint pain. Exercise can help stimulate your thyroid. So make sure you are moving your body. An over active thyroid (hyperthyroidism) is less common than its counterpart hypothyroidism but is also linked to bone loss. Some symptoms of an over active thyroid are insomnia, weight loss, increased appetite, heart palpitations and diarrhea.

Both the PTH and the thyroid need to work together to maintain balance in the calcium blood levels. Both stress and inflammation can affect these glands. Stress causes your body to lose magnesium. Low levels of magnesium and chronic inflammation can both trigger PTH activity resulting in bone being broken down.

Our bodies are amazing machines but our lifestyle choices can at times overwhelm the systems in our bodies causing imbalances. Get to know your thyroid and parathyroid in your body as they play a crucial role in your bone health and work with your health care practitioner to check them.

Yoga is a great tool for exercise to stimulate the thyroid and is also helpful in reducing stress and inflammation to help maintain balance in your body.

I have two upcoming workshops, one in November and one in January. Check the “workshop section” on my website.

Live better in your body!

Susan Kjesbo

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