by: Dr. Craig A. Maxwell
Prior to 1974, only a small percentage of people had ever heard of osteoporosis. Though serious, this bone disease was rare and associated only with women ages of 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? One word: Bisphosphonates.
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. On this page, you’ll learn the alarming 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.
Common Types of Bone Disease
There are five common types of bone diseases that cause bone loss and brittle bones.
Let’s look at them in closer detail:
Osteomalacia is a bone disease you may not have heard of before. It is a softening of the bones due to lack of vitamin D in the body. Vitamin D deficiency is usually caused by lack of sunlight and the inability of the digestive system to absorb vitamin D from food. This could be due to digestive disorders, poor diet, or a combination of both. Symptoms of osteomalacia include muscle weakness, bone pain, spasms of the hands and feet, numbness around the mouth, and easy bone fractures.
Osteopenia is considered a pre-cursor to osteoporosis. Osteopenia usually shows no outward symptoms so it can be very difficult to detect. In people with this bone disease, there is no bone loss and bone mass index is only slightly below normal. Eating disorders, chemotherapy, radiation exposure, steroids, and low vitamin D levels can contribute to the development of osteopenia. Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow was diagnosed with this brittle bone disease in 2010 due to what her physician believed to be vitamin D deficiency and an extreme exercise regimen.
Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by porous, brittle bones. Bones that are porous will not look any different but the openings in them cause them to lose essential nutrients such as magnesium and calcium. A diagnosis of osteoporosis is usually made after a fall has caused a fracture to the wrist or hip. Though there are few symptoms associated with this bone disease, some patients may notice back pain, height loss, stooped posture, and a curved backbone.
Osteonecrosis is a disease caused by restricted blood flow to the joints. This disease can be triggered by an injury, excessive alcohol consumption, steroid medications, chemotherapy, radiation, and kidney or other organ transplants. Osteonecrosis often does not show symptoms until the disease has progressed. Oftentimes, patients with advanced osteonecrosis will experience pain at the joint site. In osteonecrosis of the hip, a person may not be able to walk.
Osteoarthritis affects up to 27 million people in the United States. The disease is characterized by a breakdown in cartilage that cushions the ends of joints and allows for easy movement. Symptoms of this disease include joint pain, joint swelling, morning stiffness, chronic inflammation, and limited range of motion. Risk factors for osteoarthritis include obesity, joint injuries, and infection.
A Sudden Epidemic – The Truth about Bone Loss
For the past fifteen years, an alarming trend has been developing among major drug companies concerning osteoporosis and other brittle bone diseases. A disease that was once thought of as rare has now become a widespread epidemic. This is because major drug companies such as Merck have been developing drugs that have been leading to the development of bone loss diseases.
When osteoporosis drugs like Fosomax and Boniva first hit pharmacy shelves, they were considered miracle drugs that would prevent osteoporosis and other bone diseases by increasing bone density. The problem with these drugs is they’re poison to your system. 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 the drug as well as terrible side effects such as:
- Hypocalcaemia (Low blood calcium levels)
- Osteonecrosis of the jaw
- Thigh fractures
- Atrial fibrillation
- Esophageal cancer
- Kidney failure
- Liver damage
Bisphosphonates, calcium, and steroid drugs are a common conventional treatment for bone diseases but they unfortunately do far more damage than good. Steroid medications seep nutrients from your bones, which can increase, not decrease your likelihood of developing osteoporosis. Calcium is very good for your bones but without adequate levels of vitamin D, your body will not be able to absorb it so it will do nothing for you.
More Causes of Brittle Bones
The development of brittle bones doesn’t happen overnight and it isn’t always caused by conventional osteoporosis treatment. There are several other causes of bone loss that conventional medicine often overlooks.
These causes include:
- Anti-Anxiety Medications – According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, anti-anxiety medications known as benzodiazepines (Klonopin, Ativan, Valium, Xanax, and other tranquilizers) increase the risk of hip fracture by up to 70%!
- Antacids – 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 D 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, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, 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
It can be disheartening to discover that the drugs big pharmaceutical companies are pushing to reverse bone loss can actually make things worse. This is why I advise my patients to take the natural approach to preventing bone loss first. This means first assessing any nutrient deficiencies, making necessary dietary changes, getting the right amount of exercise, and adding the right type of dietary supplements.
- Assessing Nutrient Deficiencies
Since nutrient 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 suffering from unusual symptoms, I recommend the Vitamin D Blood Testing, 25 Hydroxy. Vitamin D blood tests are used to determine if bone weakness, bone malformation, or abnormal metabolism of calcium (reflected by abnormal calcium, phosphorus or PTH blood tests) is occurring as a result of a deficiency or excess of vitamin D.
Just take this test to the nearest LapCorp Office for a blood draw and you and your doctor will have your results within 7-10 business days!
And since gluten intolerance is a common contributor to eventual bone loss, I also recommend by patients take the Alcat Comprehensive Wellness 1-Kit. This test tells you exactly which foods and chemicals you might be sensitive to, and how severely.
This test can be taken at the same time the vitamin D blood test is done.
- Dietary Changes
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 foods, and fast foods for nutrient-rich whole food. A whole-food diet consists of lean protein, organic vegetables, healthy fats, whole grains, 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 can 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.
All Diamond Nutritional products are professional-grade. They are made in American to the highest standards and contain no artificial dyes or preservatives.
Foundation’s healing nutrients include:
- Vitamin A – 7,500 IU
- Vitamin C – 500 mg
- Vitamin D3 – 500 IU
- Vitamin E – 100 IU
- Vitamin K – 50 mcg
- Thiamine – 25 mg
- Riboflavin – 25 mg
- Niacin – 25 mg
- Vitamin B6 – 38 mg
- Folic Acid – 400 mcg
- Vitamin B12 – 500 mcg
- Biotin – 200 mcg
- Panthothenic Acid – 150 mg
- Calcium – 100 mg
- Iodine – 113 mcg
- Magnesium – 200 mg
- Zinc – 10 mg
- Selenium – 100 mcg
- Copper – 1 mg
- Manganese – 2.5 mg
- Chromium – 200 mcg
- Molybdenum – 25 mcg
- Potassium – 50 mg
- Choline Bitartrate USP – 50 mg
- Inositol – 50 mg
- Mixed Tocopherols – 50 mg
- Lipoic Acid – 25 mg
- N-Acetyl-Cysteine USP – 25 mg
- Rutin – 25 mg
- Lutein – 3 mg
- Boron – 1.5 mg
- Lycopene – 1 mg
- Vanadyl Sulfate Hydrate – 1 mg
Diamond Nutritionals’ Balanced Omega Formula
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to fighting inflammation and maintaining joint health. Unfortunately, most store-bought fish oils do not contain the necessary amounts of EPA and DHA to make the difference your body needs.
Many products may claim to contain 1,000 mg. or 1,200 mg. on the front label, but on the back label the EPA and DHA may only add up to 300 mg. or so. The rest are nothing but fillers. Diamond Nutritionals’ Balanced Omega Formula contains nothing 100% molecularly distilled fish oil for powerful anti-inflammatory joint support!
Diamond Nutritional’s Joint Support Formula
When it comes to maintaining healthy joints, there are a few essential nutrients your body needs. Diamond Nutritionals’ Joint Support Formula offers a synergistic blend of ingredients designed to cushion and support your joints while decreasing chronic inflammation.
These ingredients include:
Vitamin C – A powerful antioxidant, vitamin C reduces free radicals and supports the manufacture of collagen.
Glucosamine Sulfate KC1 – Helps repair damaged and eroded cartilage.
Chondroitin Sulfate – Adds fluid to cartilage and nourishes and lubricates joints.
Bromelain – Prevents chronic inflammation of joints and muscles.
Diamond Nutritional’s Chelated Magnesium
According to studies, magnesium deficiency is often linked to gluten intolerance (due to malabsorption) and the development of osteoporosis and other bone diseases. Diamond Nutritionals’ Chelated Magnesium is easier for your body to absorb because the minerals are smaller. Just one dosage supplies you with 59% of your daily requirement of this essential mineral!
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 getting the essential nutrients your body needs. Remember, getting older doesn’t mean you have to suffer with debilitating disease. This could be the best years of your life!
Dr. Maxwell has successfully evaluated and treated many patients with osteopenia and osteoporosis. His goal is to find and correct the root cause(s). Please feel free to call us at 513-741-4404 for a consultation. We will be glad to assist you and answer any questions you may have.