Treating and preventing Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a condition that affects 1 in 2 women in Australia and 1 in 3 men over the age of 60 with a total of 3% of the Australian population being affected.
What is Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a bone disease that is most commonly silent and develops over many years unnoticed, it impacts 1 in 2 women and 1 in 3 men in Australia with a total of 3% of the Australian population being affected. It occurs when the body loses too much bone, makes too much bone, or both. Many people experience no obvious symptoms as you are not able feel or notice your bones starting to weaken. It is generally discovered at a bone density scan or in the event of a fracture occurring.
Osteoporosis is generally seen in women over the age of 50, although younger women and men too can develop this condition. It’s estimated that about one in two women and up to one in four men over the age of 50 will break a bone at some point due to osteoporosis. After midlife, it is estimated that there is a 1% of bone loss each year.
Signs and Symptoms of Osteoporosis.
Osteoporotic bone breaks. Fractures and breaks most commonly occur in the hip, spine or wrist bones. They also affect the feet, knees and other parts of the body.
Limited mobility, trouble getting around and difficulty completing everyday activities.
Bone pain, sometimes which is permanent and intense.
Loss of height.
Hunched or stooped posture. This occurs because the vertebrae, the bones of the spine, can become weaker.
Feelings of isolation and depression.
Osteoporosis Causes & Risk Factors
Low bone mass is usually caused by a combination of factors, which include aging, nutrient deficiencies due to poor diet and gut health, or existing health conditions as listed below.
The main causes of osteoporosis include:
Inactivity, or too little exercise which helps to maintain bone mass
High alcohol intake
Low body weight
Decline in hormones after menopause.
Hormonal changesm especially low estrogen levels in women, which is the cause of many menopause symptoms.
Low levels of testosterone in men can also decrease bone mass. Women suffer from osteoporosis more than men largely because of a decrease in hormones after menopause.
History of medical conditions such as autoimmune disorders, pulmonary disease, kidney or liver diseases
Long-term use of certain medications, including proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), aromatase inhibitors, fertility drugs/hormonal medications, anti-seizure medications and steroids (glucocorticoids or corticosteroids).
Low vitamin D levels
High amounts of emotional stress and depression
Nutritional deficiencies, especially in vitamins and minerals that help to build bone such as calcium, phosphorus and vitamin K
Weight loss, dieting that results in severe calorie restriction and malnutrition
Breast or prostate cancer
Hyperparathyroidism or hyperthyroidism
Inflammatory bowel disease
Autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or multiple sclerosis
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema
10 Natural Osteoporosis Treatments.
It has commonly been believed that calcium is the best optionl in treating and preventing bone disease such as osteoporosis, however randomized controlled trials have shown that high levels of calcium in the blood and bones can in fact significantly reduce the uptake and use of magnesium leading to a magnesium deficiency in the body. When this occurs, is can cause an imbalance in the ratio between calcium and magnesium causing high amount of calcium to be stored in the tissues leading to arthritis and osteoporosis
So, what is the best way to manage your symptoms and prevent the disease progressing further?
Here are 10 steps to help.
1. Eat a Healthy Diet
Best foods to include in your diet are, leafy green vegetables, fresh fruit, wild caught fish, and almonds. Eating prunes has also been shown to beneficial effect on bone health, up to 100mg per day.
- Calcium (1300mg) Choose calcium citrate which is best absorbed.
- Vitamin D: (5,000IU) Vitamin D helps improve calcium absorption.
- Magnesium (400-800mg/day) Magnesium is required for proper calcium metabolism.
- Vitamin K2 (100 mcg daily) — Needed to form a protein critical for bone formation.
- Boron for bone health, often a deficiency in those with osteoporosis.
3. Herbal remedies
- Boswellia for inflammation and pain.
- Turmeric for inflammation and pain.
- Willow Bark for pain
- Ginger - increase circulation
- Prickly Ash – promotes blood flow and removes waste
4. Weight bearing exercises to build bone and muscle strength and prevent fractures.
5. Exercises to improve balance such as tai chi.
6. Stay active and get plenty of safe sun exposure
7. Avoid, tea, coffee, sugar, salt, soft drinks, red wine.
8. Address gut health in order to improve nutrient absorption and reduce inflammation.
9. Sleep, ensure adequate sleep. 8 hours per night, in bed by 10pm.
10. Plenty of water
As always its best to work with a qualified practitioner when taking supplements.