Osteoporosis

OSTEOPOROSIS

What is Osteoporosis?

Definition: ‘Osteo’ means bone. Bone is a living tissue and relies on a constant supply of nutrients to stay healtwebmd rm photo of porous boneshy.  ‘Porosis’ means porous – so ‘porous bones’.

While rates of osteoporosis are increasing, and it is a large cause of mortality and morbidity – it can be prevented and treated naturally.

Osteoporosis is often undetected because it is usually without pain and the first sign of it can be a broken bone. While it can affect men (through aging) it is more common in women who have passed through menopause.

WHAT HAPPENS

Under normal circumstances the Parathyroid hormone controls blood calcium levels. If calcium levels are low the thyroid gland tells bone cells, called osteoclasts, to degrade the bone – releasing the calcium. When calcium blood stores are adequate - osteoblasts then replace the calcium that was taken.  However during menopause a reduction in the hormone estrogen can cause demineralization of calcium stores at a rate the body cannot keep up with – or faster than remineralization can take place – especially if calcium blood stores are low.

THINGS THAT CONTRIBUTE

  • Alcohol intake is associated with increased risk by depleting nutrients and disrupt calcium and bone homeostasis
  • Low body weight – associated with small bone size
  • Genetics
  • Medication – corticosteroids, chemotherapeutic agents, thyroxine etc. – causing secondary osteoporosis
  • Smoking – interferes with nutritional uptake
  • Lack of exercise – reduces bone density
  • Calcium deficiency and vitamin D – both needed to grow bone
  • Digestive health – which can interfere with nutrient absorption. Over 40% of post menopausal women are low in hydrochloric acid – affecting nutrient absorption

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

  • Stooped posture – causing loss of height
  • A hump at the base of the neck
  • Spinal deformity

TREATMENT AND PREVENTION

  1. Increase foods that optimize nutrients for bone building – green vegetables, fermented foods
  2. Eat a whole food diet including omega 3 essential fatty acid consumption
  3. Avoid foods that deplete the body of nutrients – tannin containing beverages – tea and wine, coffee, sugary foods

EASY TIPS

  • Prunes have been proven to increase bone density
  • Take magnesium – which decreases bone turnover
  • Get plenty of fresh air exercise and sunlight (which helps in the synthesis of vitamin D)
  • Herbs: celery, cayenne, chili, turmeric
  • Liquid herbs: My Wild yam cream will be beneficial – for all menopausal symptoms and for osteoporosis – as it has an estrogenic effect

 

Osteoporosis is often confused with Osteoarthritis –

The differences are:

  1. Osteoporosis affects the bones (osteoarthritis affects the joints)
  2. Osteoporosis is diagnosed with a bone density scan (rather than an x-ray)
  3. Osteoporosis is much more common in females (osteoarthritis is more common in men)
  4. Osteoporosis can be without symptoms until a break (osteoarthritis is painful)
  5. Pain killers are used for osteoarthritis

Please contact me if you need help with any of the above treatment options or you would like a personalised plan drawn up.