Most commonly effecting postmenopausal women, osteoporosis can also be found in older men. Primary osteoporosis typically results from falling levels of estrogen and progesterone in postmenopausal women. Other diseases that may cause osteoporosis include diabetes, some forms of hyperthyroidism and certain chronic lung diseases. Excessive use of Prednisone or alcohol, as well as a lack of calcium, protein or the lack of vitamins D and C in one’s diet is also contributing actors. Research indicates that other factors leading to osteoporosis include poor absorption of calcium, vitamin D or protein as the result of various intestinal disorders. Dangers may be lurking around the corner if you drink excessive amounts of caffeine or phosphates found in soda pop, as they tend to promote calcium excretion in the urine exacerbating the disease. Smoking is yet another culprit known to increase bone loss.
What happens to the body?
Osteoporosis is actually a thinning of bone with loss of the protein matrix as well as a loss of calcium. Most commonly, the bones in the spine, hips, lower legs and hands are affected. Early symptoms include a loss of height and some bone pain. Some of the patents symptoms may include hip fractures or a collapse of vertebrae. Remember how fragile Grandma used to be? Some fractures may even occur spontaneously or with minimal force, such as a minor slip over a step.
Prevention and Treatment
Prevention and treatment both include hormone replacement of estrogen and progesterone. If a patient is not blessed with good genes, this treatment approach may even be started before the onset of menopause. Hormone replacement therapy, such as Premarin or Provera stimulates new bone formation. The side effects can include an increased risk of blood clots, uterine and breast cancer as well as an aggravation of migraines, fibroids, endometriosis, asthma and gallbladder disease. You should discuss the potential risks and side effects of treatment with your doctor before starting on any hormone replacement. The treatment medication list can also include Alendronate (Fosamax) and Calcintonin (Miacalcin). These two medications can be taken individually for patients who need to avoid the increased risks as a previously mentioned. Or, Fosamax or Miacalcin can be taken in combination with hormone replacement in situations where osteoporosis is more severe.
There is a natural way to prevent and treat osteoporosis including a diet high in calcium, magnesium and vitamins D and C. We also suggest supplementing the diet with 1500 mg of calcium and 750 mg of magnesium per day for women and 1000mg mg of calcium half as much magnesium per day for men. Tell your tummy to smile as there are foods that are considered good for you – foods that are high in calcium include almonds, salmon, yogurt, broccoli and other dark green vegetables. Magnesium is found in the same calcium rich foods mentioned above as well as in beets and whole grain wheat and rye. Both men and women should consume 1000mg of vitamin D and 500-1000mg of vitamin C each day to prevent and treat osteoporosis. Treatment and prevention include the following vitamins and minerals: manganese (2mg), boron (2mg), vitamin A (10,000 I.U.), vitamin E (400mg) and zinc (50mg) each per day. Individuals who have difficulty digesting food, have excessive bowel gas or lack hydrochloric acid and should supplement their meals with digestive enzymes and betaine HCL. This is important to digest protein and absorb calcium, magnesium and vitamin D.
If a natural hormone replacement therapy is your preference, you should eat products daily that include soy milk, tofu, soy nuts and soy flour. Also, consider two daily applications of wild yam cream on the skin as well as oral ingestion of evening primrose oil and lecithin to provide the natural estrogen and progesterone you need without the side effect of drugs.
Exercise your options. Weight bearing exercises, such as walking, tennis, stair climbing and light weight lifting have proven beneficial in preventing osteoporosis. While non-weight bearing exercises are good for the heart, they provide little benefit in preventing osteoporosis. Instead, walk 45 minutes five times a week for prevention and treatment. For prevention, light weightlifting should focus on the spine, hips, knees and shoulders. During treatment, osteoporosis patients should avoid placing excessive stress on the spine and hips.
More prevention tips. Avoid high-heeled shoes. Make sure all rugs mats are secured to the floor to prevent slips and falls. Make sure you have hand rails on staircases and in bath area near the tub.