Introduction – Osteoporosis

 

osteoporosis

osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a condition that causes a person’s bones to become thin and weak. It is a crippling disease affecting both men and women caused by a lack of calcium. Women are usually more susceptible to this disease as their bones are lighter and less dense. And among women, usually osteoporosis affects fair and small people.
Symptoms
The condition may cause no symptoms at all or alternatively these may occur:-

  • Backache
  • A gradual loss of height and a stooped back.
  • Fractures and breaks occur easily.
  • Loss of bone in the jaw.

Causes 
The most common cause is age. From about 35 years of age onwards, bone structure changes and becomes less dense. However no one is sure about what triggers tend speed up the process of bone deterioration.
Possible causes are:-

  • Poor bone formation from childhood
  • Low calcium intake
  • Increased bone loss due to sensitivity to the parathyroid hormone.
  • At menopause, the fall in estrogen lessens the amount of calcium drawn from the nutrients you eat.
  • A diet high in protein from flesh foods, sugar, caffeine, alcohol and cigarettes and salt.


Traditional Treatments

Conventional treatment centers around drugs and physical supports.
Your doctor may prescribe certain pain killers to ease the discomfort, as well as hot compresses and easy massage.
However, to prevent it in the first place, your doctor may recommend you go on hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Studies have shown that women who take long-term HRT within a few years of menopause keep their bone density and have fewer hip and wrist fractures while they are taking it than women who do not.
As a preventive measure your doctor may suggest that you increase the amount of calcium in your diet or perhaps take calcium supplements along with Vitamin D.
Also low impact exercise is usually recommended to keep your bones supple and too much weight off them.
Alternative/Natural Treatments
Alternative therapies focus on building and retaining strong bones.
Chinese Herbs
Chinese practitioners recommend several herbs for preventing bone loss – the most popular are dong quai and asian ginseng .
See a qualified practitioner of Chinese Medicine for appropriate dosages.
Exercise
Studies have shown that exercises reduce bone loss and help prevent osteoporosis.
Herbal Therapies
Herbalists believe that the use of some herbs can help slow the progression of this condition. Herbs traditionally used for the prevention of osteoporosis include:-

  • Horsetail – source of silica,
  • Alfalfa
  • Licorice
  • Marsh Mallow
  • Sourdock
  • Progesterone creams made from the wild Mexican yam

Homeopathy
In addition to a calcium-rich diet and exercise, homeopaths recommend treatments they believe help the body absorb calcium. You will need professional assistance for remedies and dosages
Dietary Considerations
The most obvious addition to your diet is calcium whether this is via more calcium rich foods such as:-

  • Low-fat dairy produce
  • Broccoli,
  • Cauliflower,
  • Salmon
  • Tofu,
  • Leafy green vegetables or supplements.

In addition to eating calcium-rich foods you should also avoid acid rich foods such as red meats, soft drinks and grains. Excessive amounts of alcohol and caffeine should be avoided.

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