Osteoporosis

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Osteoporosis

 

Osteoporosis is a crippling disease that affects both men and women and caused because of a lack of calcium. The condition causes the person’s bones to become thin and weak. Blood clots, hip fractures and pneumonia are all problems that should be watched for. Women are usually more susceptible to osteoporosis, this is because their bones are lighter and less dense, and among women it usually affects fair and small people. The condition might not cause any symptoms, however these may occur:

Backache
Loss of bone in the jaw
Gradual loss of height and a stooped back
Fractures and breaks occur easily

Causes

 

The most common cause is age, from around 35 years and onwards, everyone’s bone structure changes and becomes less dense. At the moment there are debates about what causes the process of bone deterioration to speed up. There are a few lifestyle changes that can help minimize the likelihood of it occurring. Other causes include poor bone formation from childhood, increased bone loss due to sensitivity to the parathyroid hormone, a diet high in protein from flesh foods, caffeine, sugar, salt, alcohol and cigarettes. Calcium intake was very low and at menopause, the fall of the oestrogen levels lessened the amount of calcium drawn from the nutrients you eat. You are able to have your bones tested and it is highly recommended for people of all ages, you can ask your pharmacist for details.

Dietary Considerations

Calcium is the most obvious addition to your diet whether this is via supplements or more calcium rich foods such as broccoli, low-fat dairy, salmon, leafy green vegetables, cauliflower and tofu. Approximately 1000mg of calcium should be taken daily increasing this to 1500mg around the time of menopause. Taking a Vitamin D and magnesium supplement will help your body to absorb calcium, and in addition to eating calcium rich foods you should also avoid acid rich foods such as red meats, grains and soft drinks. Excessive amounts of alcohol and caffeine should also be avoided.

Prevention

 

Try to eat foods that are rich in calcium , eat plenty of aloe vera juice and acidophilus yoghurt, do exercises for 30 - 45 min at least three times a week (your doctor should be consulted before starting any exercise program). Stop drinking coffee and cola and stop smoking immediately. Avoid all foods that can interfere with body’s absorption of calcium and antacids that contain aluminium. Also try to have your digestive system examined as calcium may not be absorbed properly in your system.

Alternative/Natural Treatments

 

Conventional techniques and alternative therapies are alike as they both focus on building and retaining strong bones. Chinese herbalists recommend several herbs for preventing bone loss the most popular are Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) and Dong quai (Angelica sinensis), you will need to get professional advice the correct dosages. Exercise helps reduce bone loss and prevents osteoporosis, so a good exercise routine should be followed daily. Herbalist believe that the use of some herbs can assist in slowing down the progression of this condition. Herbs that are traditionally used for the prevention of this condition include; alfalfa (Medicago sativa), horsetail (Equisetum arvense), marshmallow (Althaea officinalis) licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) and sourdock (Rumex crispus). Progesterone creams made from wild Mexican yam may be able to stimulate bone formation. In addition to a calcium rich diet and exercise homeopaths also recommend treatments that they believe help to absorb calcium. These remedies are likely to include Calcarea carbonica, Calcarea fluorica, Calcarea phosphorica and silica, professional advice is needed for the correct dosages.

Traditional Treatment

Drugs and physical supports are the more commonly used conventional treatments. Your doctor will probably prescribe certain pain killers to relieve the discomfort, as well as hot compresses and easy massage. To prevent it occurring in the first place, your doctor may recommend that you go on hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Research has shown that women who take long term HRT within a few years or menopause keep their bone density and have fewer wrist and hip fractures while they are taking it compared to women who do not. He may also recommend that you increase your calcium intake in your diet or take calcium supplements along with vitamin D. Low impact exercise is also usually recommended so that your bones are kept supple and there is not too much weight on them.

The information contained in this Site/Service is not intended nor is it implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice or taken for medical diagnosis or treatment.

Author - Body and Mind

Published - 2013-01-23