E at work – bones

Some of the testosterone (T) in the body is changed into the hormone estrogen (E). The converting of T to E is called aromatization, and it happens in the liver, in fat cells, in the gonads, the nervous system, and in muscles (among other places.)

Screen Shot 2016-03-04 at 7.00.03 AM ⇒Screen Shot 2016-03-04 at 7.00.06 AM    That estrogen does a lot of important things.

During puberty, the hormone estrogen (E) starts strengthening your bones and helps your bones stay strong.

The hormone estrogen (E) may also help close the growth plates of bones.

cartoon-boneA doctor can use bone x-rays (usually of your hand, called “bone age” x-rays) to check on your growth plates, and bone scans (called a DXA scan) to check on your bone mineral density.

For people who don’t have E in their body or don’t have much of it (because they don’t have gonads or have gonads that make low levels of estrogen), issues like osteoporosis and osteopenia can be common. This happens is when the bone doesn’t build up as much mass (or mineral density) as is needed.
With each DSD variation, understand how healthy your bones are and make sure you are getting the nutrients that keep them healthy and strong. Check with your doctor and ask if you are getting enough:

  • hormones
  • exercise
  • Vitamin D (the sunshine vitamin)
  • calcium

You need these to grow strong and healthy.