I went to see a doctor a little while ago, and she suggested sending me for a DEXA scan, which measures your bone density.
Out of however many years (at least ten!?) I have been at the same surgery, she is the first doctor to suggest giving me an annual check up or sending me for a DEXA scan, but grumbling aside (I could go on all day) let me explain what exactly a DEXA scan is for.
If left untreated, coeliac disease can lead to osteoporosis, aka ‘brittle bones’, due to the fact the damages villi in your small intestine stop you from absorbing calcium in your food.
When I was diagnosed, osteoporosis was briefly mentioned in passing, but nowadays, newly diagnosed coeliacs are being sent to have a DEXA scan.
These scans are a little like x-rays, but with only a teeny tiny amount of radiation being omitted.
When I went for my scan, the person doing it sat with me and explained a little about why I was there.
He gave me a list of foods to eat which are high in calcium, and explained how the scan would show if my bones were dense enough.
The scan itself was quick and painless – I just lay on a table while the machine went about its business scanning my hips, spine and forearm.
I should get the results soon, but the preliminary results seemed to be OK, so I’m not worrying!
However, the one thing I did take away from this appointment, was that exercise is important for your bones.
So as if I didn’t need anymore reason to go to the gym, now my bones need me to!
Brisk walking and lifting weights are great bone-strengtheners, and if you have slightly weaker bones then you can help to increase their strength by exercising regularly.