My son broke his leg on Tuesday. Now, he is doing his best to creatively drag his long leg cast all over the place. Kids are traditionally pretty resilient, and he is already proving to me how much our perception can trump our reactions to life.
However, behind the scenes, his body is working extra hard to lug that cast all over creation and to heal the broken bone. Lately I have been obsessed with hormones, so I got to wondering how little Liam’s hormones are helping him to heal right now.
And wouldn’t you know it…hormones are pretty key in healing for our bones.
The Parathyroid Hormone: Maintains our normal bone density and our circulating calcium in the body. In fact, in recent studies, those with osteoporosis (a significant loss of bone mass) who were given intermittent treatment with parathyroid hormone had increased bone mass.
Estrogen: estrogen causes decreased bone-resorbing activity and increases osteoblastic function (osteoblasts are the bone makers of the body).
Growth hormone: plays a crucial role in the maintenance of bone mass by regulating bone resorption and formation.
And the downside….Corticosteroids, such as cortisone and prednisone, have an adverse effect on bone and soft tissue healing, they inactivate vitamin D, limiting calcium absorption by the gastrointestinal tract, and increase urinary excretion of calcium.
The take home message? Having healthy, balanced hormones is crucial for bone healing.
One of the reasons women lose bone bass after menopause is because of the decrease in estrogen. And one reason kids recover so quickly from fractures are their elevated levels of growth hormone.
So, how will I be helping my little guy improve his chances of healing well? What I always do. Give him as much rest as possible, plenty of gentle activity as tolerated, lots of veggies, fruits and proteins, and of course… plenty of hugs and kisses!!