Prior to the 1970’s, only a small percentage of people had ever heard of osteoporosis. Though serious, this bone disease was fairly uncommon and associated only with women aged 70 and over with a “dowagers hump”. Now, in the 21st century, osteoporosis is estimated to affect 1 in 3 women and 1 in 12 men over the age of 50 worldwide. How did a disease that was rare a generation ago become one of the top health concerns affecting senior citizens today?
It is my belief that the main factor that changed during this time frame was our environment. Our diet and lifestyle are much different than they were just fifty years ago and it has caused an epidemic of many health conditions, including osteoporosis.
Food is more highly processed than ever before. More fast food is consumed than ever before. Due to highly processed food, soil depletion of nutrients and GMOs, it is increasingly difficult to consume therapeutic levels of the nutrients we need on a daily basis from food alone.
Stress causes many things, one of which is to affect cortisol levels. This contributes to osteoporosis as well.
The pharmaceutical industry has been quick to find a remedy for osteoporosis. These families of osteoporosis medication can be quite dangerous. Here are some examples:
Bisphosphonates are branded and marketed under the following names:
- Zometa and Aclasta
Non-nitrogenous versions work through a different cellular mechanism and are branded and sold under these names:
You may have heard that osteoporosis and other bone diseases are just one of the many normal health problems an aging population has to face. Not so. Osteoporosis should never have become an epidemic. In this article, you’ll learn the truth about osteoporosis and other bone diseases so you can protect yourself.
The Bone Cycle
Though bones may seem permanent, unchanging fixtures in your body, they are actually always being replaced. At any given moment there are from 1-10 million sites where small segments of old bone are being broken-down (reabsorbed) while new bone is laid down to replace it. When more old bone is destroyed than new bone laid down, bone loss occurs.
When osteoporosis drugs like Fosomax and Boniva first hit pharmacy shelves as an “answer” to our recent epidemic of osteoporosis, they were considered miracle drugs that would prevent, or reverse, osteoporosis by increasing bone density.
Yes, they do increase bone density but they do it not by increasing the cells that make bone but by killing off the cells that destroy bone. Your bones become thicker but not stronger as your bones can no longer effectively rebuild bone.
The result is dependency on these drugs, as well as possible side effects such as:
- Hypocalcaemia (Low blood calcium levels)
- Osteonecrosis of the jaw
- Thigh fractures
- Atrial fibrillation
- Esophageal cancer
- Kidney failure
- Liver damage
More Causes of Brittle Bones
The development of brittle bones doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time. There are several other causes of bone loss that conventional medicine often overlooks.
These causes include:
- Anti-Anxiety Medications – According to studies, anti-anxiety medications known as benzodiazepines (Klonopin, Ativan, Valium, Xanax, and other tranquilizers) increase the risk of hip fracture by up to 70%!
- Proton Pump Inhibitors are a common cause of brittle bones due to their interference with mineral absorption.
- Gluten Intolerance – A person with gluten intolerance is unable to digest the protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. When a person with gluten intolerance eats this protein, their intestines become inflamed, the cilli in their small intestine flattened. This leads to chronic malabsorption of essential nutrients, including vitamin D3 and calcium, which can lead to bone loss.
- Poor Diet – A poor diet laden with preservatives, additives, empty calories, and artificial sweeteners can also contribute to bone disease. Sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup interfere with the body’s absorption of copper, which can lead to brittle bones.
- Thyroid Disease – Undiagnosed thyroid disease such as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can also lead to bone loss. This can be due to malnutrition, metabolic disruption, and taking too much synthetic thyroid hormone.
Natural Ways to Reverse Bone Loss
I advise my patients to take the natural approach to preventing, and reversing, bone loss. This means first assessing any nutritional deficiencies, making necessary dietary changes, getting the right amount of exercise, and adding the right type of dietary supplements.
Assessing Nutrient Deficiencies
Since nutritional deficiencies are a common hidden cause of many diseases including bone disease, it’s important to assess any vitamin or mineral deficiencies that might be present. For my patients, I recommend the Vitamin D3 Blood Testing, 25 Hydroxy to evaluate Vitamin D levels.
It is also very important to have your Red Blood Cell (RBC) Magnesium level evaluated, as this reflects your body’s tissue levels of magnesium. This is done by having magnesium in your red blood cells evaluated. The serum magnesium test commonly done as part of a health profile only measures the 1% circulating in blood serum and will almost always be reported as normal. The other 99% is hard at work in body tissues, and that is the one you’ll want to have measured.
This test can be taken at the same time the vitamin D3 blood test is done.
Have Your Hormones Checked
Hormonal decline is one of the most common reasons for bone loss after menopause in women. Andropause, the male equivalent of menopause, also causes bone loss in men. Adequate levels of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are important for bone maintenance.
Excess levels of cortisol, insulin, and parathyroid hormone can also cause bone loss. Most physicians never check these levels. An elevated calcium level in the serum is a clue that parathyroid hormone might be in excess. Excess refined sugars and starches in the diet cause elevated insulin levels. Excess stress can cause elevated cortisol levels.
Have Your Thyroid Levels Checked
Having your thyroid levels checked is very important. In addition to a TSH, ask your doctor to check your T3 and T4, as well as antibodies for Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
One of the easiest and best steps to preventing unnecessary bone loss is cutting the junk out of your diet. This means trading in your soda, boxed food, canned food, and fast food for nutrient-rich whole food. A whole-food diet consists of lean protein, organic vegetables, wild-caught fish, fruits, dairy, and healthy fats.
Get plenty of variety in your diet and boredom will never be a problem!
Exercise is your key to preventing bone loss and other chronic health problems. Thirty minutes of moderate exercise just three days per week may be all you need to maintain a healthy weight and stave off disease. Walking, hiking, cycling, swimming, yoga, and strength-training keep your muscles strong, your joints lubricated, and your body healthy and fit.
What Is The Best Way To Reverse Or Prevent Osteoporosis Naturally?
Here’s my easy, convenient, and natural 3-part plan I have recommended to my patients for over 11 years with great success:
To help prevent bone loss and other chronic health conditions due to vitamin and mineral deficiencies, I recommend taking Diamond Nutritionals’ Foundation Vitamins and Minerals. Like all Diamond Nutritionals products, Foundation Vitamins are made in America and are professional grade, ultra-pure, with vitamins and minerals in the proper ratios. It contains no preservatives, dyes, or other unnecessary chemicals. For my patients, I recommend 3 once a day.
Excess calcium can cause kidney stones, constipation, and arterial calcifications. As most of us easily get enough calcium from our diet, only 100 mg. of highly absorbable calcium is added to Foundation Vitamins and Minerals to maintain the proper balance of minerals.
Vitamin K2 is what I often refer to as the “coach” or “orchestra leader.” For example, it directs calcium to go to the bones, not the arterial walls. The vast majority of the population is deficient in vitamin K2.
Like vitamin K2, most are deficient in vitamin D3. For virtually all of my adult patients, I recommend 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily.
I recommend one Diamond Nutritionals’ Vitamin K2 with D3, 5,000 capsule daily.
Magnesium is involved in over 300 metabolic reactions in the body. One of those involves bone metabolism. About 85% of the population is deficient in this mineral at the cellular level.
Magnesium also balances calcium.
The type of magnesium one takes is extremely important. Many forms are poorly absorbed, if at all.
Diamond Nutritionals’ Chelated Magnesium is designed for optimal absorption. Two capsules contains 235 mg. of chelated magnesium. For my patients with osteoporosis, I recommend taking 2 twice a day.
These products may be taken together. I usually recommend taking them with breakfast or lunch.
For my patients who follow this plan to reverse osteopenia, I recommend having a followup DEXA scan at least six months after starting the program. For those with osteoporosis, I order a followup DEXA scan at one year.
Those who maintain this program not only benefit from reversal of osteoporosis or osteopenia, but enjoy the many other health benefits of optimizing their vitamin and mineral levels.
Knowing the real cause of bone loss and brittle bones is your first step to understanding how to fight it. Taking care of your health means addressing nutritional deficiencies, getting plenty of exercise, and taking in the essential nutrients your body needs.
Remember, getting older doesn’t mean you have to suffer with debilitating disease. These could be the best years of your life!
Featured photo credit: bigstock.com
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