As we age, our bones begin to erode, a natural result of aging. However, some of us lose so much bone that our skeletons become weakened and deformed, and in severe cases we incur loss of bone density in multiple places. That is osteoporosis, and it frequently causes fractures of the hip, spine and forearm. At its worst, bones can become so frail that they can crack and break under the body’s own weight! But your bones don`t have to crack under the strain of this disease. You can slow, stop or even reverse bone loss.
The meaning of the term osteoporosis originates from osteo, meaning bone, and porosus meaning thinning or becoming more porous. Hence, osteoporosis literally means “thinning of bone.” Medically speaking, osteoporosis is a disease of the bone in which the bone mineral density (BMD) is reduced, resulting in low bone mass and deteriorating bone tissue. Bone mass (or bone density) is the amount of bone present in the skeletal structure. The higher the density, the stronger the bones. Bone density is influenced by genetic factors, which in turn are modified by environmental factors and medications.
If osteoporosis is not prevented in the early stages or if it is left untreated, it can progress painlessly to the point where bones start breaking. The fractures caused by osteoporosis can be either in the form of cracking (as in a hip fracture), or collapsing (as in a compression fracture of the vertebrae of the spine). Though the spine, hips, and wrists are common areas of osteoporosis-related bone fractures, almost any skeletal bone area is susceptible.
The consequences of osteoporosis may impair a person for life. A hip fracture can impair a person`s ability to walk and may cause permanent disability or even death despite hospitalization and major surgery. Spinal or vertebral fractures also have serious consequences, including loss of height, severe back pain, and deformity. Osteoporosis can cause a person to stoop forward and appear to have a hump on the spine. While osteoporosis occurs in men and pre-menopausal women, the problem is predominant among postmenopausal women.
Anyone can get osteoporosis, but women are more likely to get it than men. They have lighter bones, and they lose bone rapidly after menopause, because their bodies are producing less estrogen. But men aren`t immune, especially if they drink heavily, smoke or have taken steroid drugs.
One of the best natural remedies for osteoporosisis is Omega Balance (120), which is a blend of Omega oils containing EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and GLA (gamma linolenic acid). Omega Balance (120) is an effective safeguard against osteoporosis and improves skin, brain function and cardiovascular health.
Light exercise is essential, such as walking, dancing, aerobics or bouncing on trampolines. Supplementing with Bone Matrix (240) assures you will get enough calcium and magnesium, the main minerals of bone health.
Factors Contributing to the Loss of Bone Density and Strength:
Excess phosphorus intake from drinking sodas, particularly colas, causes the body to balance this phosphorus by drawing calcium from the bones.
Magnesium deficiency is a huge factor for osteoporosis. Magnesium is actually more important than calcium for bone growth and bone density. As many as 90 percent or more of us are deficient in magnesium.
Among women the deficiency of estrogen during and after menopause is highly correlated to a rapid reduction in BMD.
The increased risk of falling associated with aging leads to fractures of the wrist, spine and hip, and in many instances the fall is actually caused by the breaking of a bone when taking a step, especially when stepping downward on stairs or stepping off porches.
Some medicines can inhibit the body`s ability to absorb calcium. This may cause the bones to weaken. These include cortisone/corticosteroids, anticoagulants, and some anti-convulsive drugs. Cortisone, blood thinners, antacids containing aluminum, chemotherapy, lithium, and certain antibiotics also rob bones of mineral.
Other illnesses or diseases, such as over-active thyroid, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis may cause bone loss. Diseases such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia can cause changes in a person`s estrogen level and lead to osteoporosis.
Other significant factors leading to the onset of osteoporosis include smoking cigarettes, high intake of alcohol, tea or coffee, low levels of physical activity (weight bearing exercise), and family history.
Sedentary lifestyle is a major factor in osteoporosis. Exercise strengthens bones – inactivity encourages the body not to rebuild unused bone.
A lack of natural Vitamin D, which can be obtained by exposure (not over-exposure) to sunlight and from Bone Matrix (240) is also an important factor in bone loss.
Not enough Vitamin K in the system is an often overlooked contributor to osteoporosis. New research has shown that this little known vitamin is the key to calcium balance in the body. An optimal amount of Vitamin K is found in Bone Matrix (240)
Trace minerals, in which most of us are deficient due to our mineral depleted soils, are necessary for the transport and absorption of calcium. Bone Matrix (240) contains these necessary trace minerals for absorption.
Excess consumption of dairy products actually causes bone loss, contrary to what many might believe. This is due to the lack of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in factory farmed dairy products. An optimal amount of CLA is contained in Omega Balance (120).
Excess salt and sugar consumption in junk foods leach calcium from the bones into the urine.
Fluorides destroy collagen, the glue which adds strength to the bones.
Exercise to Build Strong Bones:
Exercise aerobically for 20 minutes a day at least three days a week. The best aerobic exercise for strong bones is one you will continue doing, because if you don`t do it for life, the bone-building benefits fade. Exercise for at least thirty minutes using weight-bearing exercise such as walking or jogging. This regime has been proven to increase bone mineral density, and reduce the risk of falls by strengthening the major muscle groups in the legs and back. You may prefer running, biking, swimming or aerobic dance classes. Aim for quality, not quantity, when you exercise.
Walking in chest-deep water for about 30 minutes at least three times a week is a suggested remedy, especially if you`ve already had a fracture or two, since the water will help support your body weight and take stress off bones and joints. Work yourself up to 30 minutes at least three times a week.
Make your “exercise equipment” a chair and the floor. To complement water walking, do some easy muscle-strengthening exercises in a chair or on the floor. Such exercises can include abdominal curls, shoulder blade squeezes and back extensions.
To do back extensions, lie on the floor on your stomach, with a pillow under your hips and your arms at your sides. Using only your back muscles, not your arms, raise your upper body a few inches off the floor. Hold for as long as comfortable, then relax downward. Work up to doing this six to ten times a day.
Dietary and Other Tips for Handling Osteoporosis Without Medications
Vary your diet. Bones are not made from calcium alone. Instead, bones are an amalgam that includes various minerals such as zinc and boron. These trace elements can be ingested through a varied and broad-based diet that includes mostly unprocessed foods, such as whole grains, beans, fresh fruits and vegetables, fish and shellfish, and lean meat. Foods high in boron (a mineral that helps the body hold calcium) are beneficial for those affected by osteoporosis. Boron is found in apples, pears, grapes and other fruit, as well as in legumes, nuts and honey. Manganese is another beneficial mineral. Traces of manganese are found in pineapples, nuts, spinach, beans and whole wheat. Bone Matrix (240) offers optimal amounts of zinc, boron and manganese.
Foods rich in calcium are especially necessary for maintaining healthy bones. Dairy products (milk, cheese, and yogurt), salmon, sardines, almonds, dark green leafy vegetables and broccoli are good sources of calcium. It is recommended to include 1500mg of calcium daily either via dietary means or via supplementation. One serving of Bone Matrix (240) contains 500 mg of highly absorable calcium. The body can absorb only about 500 mg of calcium at one time, so intake should be spread throughout the day.
Magnesium is essential for good bone growth and density. The recommended daily minimums are 320 mg for women and 400 for men, but optimum daily amounts are more like 500 to 700 mg. Dietary sources include dark green leafy vegetables and nuts, but it is difficult to get enough magnesium through diet alone, so supplementation with Bone Matrix (240) is advised for most people. It is estimated that 8 out of 10 people do not get enough magnesium daily and that over 90% of the US population is magnesium deficient.
Brussels sprouts are known to prevent diseases like cancer, birth defects, osteoporosis and heart trouble. Brussels sprouts provide essential Vitamin K (this vitamin activates a protein found in bones, called osteocalcin, which holds calcium molecules in place) helps protect against osteoporosis. Bone Matrix (240) provides an optimal amount of Vitamin K.
It is important to note that some studies have suggested an adverse effect of calcium excess on bone density. Excess consumption of dairy products may cause acification, which leaches calcium from the system. Therefore vegetables and nuts are a better source of calcium than milk products, especially those from factory farms. If that seems incredible, consider that man alone continues to drink milk after the age of weaning. Note that cows get all of their calcium from grass and vegetable forage, and they have some of the largest and strongest bones of any animal.
Salt lightly, and choose healthy sea salt for added minerals. As with phosphorus, too much salt causes your body to excrete calcium. Avoid products with more than 300 milligrams of salt per serving.
Herbs That Can Help Osteoporosis
Dandelion tea helps build bone density.
Red Clover has been shown to improve bone mineral density and stabilize hormone levels. It also lowers LDL cholesterol.
Chaste Berry contains vitexicarpin and vitricin, which help to keep hormone levels in balance. It is advisable to take at least 250 mg a day of a standardized extract of this herb for two to three months.
Dong Quai has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years. It is advisable to take 250 mg of a standardized extract of dong quai daily as a tonic herb.
A recent study indicates that the popular herb black cohosh found in Fem-Support (60) may help prevent osteoporosis. Most studies recommend an intake of either 20 or 40 mg of black cohosh extract twice a day.
A handful of sesame seeds every morning may also help osteoporosis.
Other useful supplements
Glucosamine and condroitin from Joint Rescue (180) are important for bone and joint health.
Silica (from horsetail and/or shavegrass) works with calcium to maintain strong bones and is especially effective in combination with GTF Chromium.
Inositol/IP6 modulates the behavior of bone-forming and bone-destroying cells to help prevent osteoporosis.
Besides being an excellent pathogen destroyer, Colloidal Silver also helps bone, tissue and nerve regeneration.
Many people have reported excellent results for arthritis as well as osteopororis with Colloidal Gold.
Caution: Be very wary of taking bone drugs for osteoporosis. Evidence has shown that they produce abnormal bone growth and can actually make bones more brittle. They may have serious and even life threatening side effects!