Osteoporosis is a common condition that affects both men and women, with women over 50 being particularly vulnerable.
It leads to bone loss and increases the risk of debilitating fractures.
In this article, we will explore effective strategies to prevent osteoporosis and promote bone health.
By understanding how bones renew themselves, you can make informed decisions about treatment options and natural remedies.
Don’t underestimate osteoporosis; take action now to safeguard your bone health.
Osteoporosis is a common condition characterized by porous bones and an increased risk of fractures. Preventing osteoporosis involves understanding bone renewal, implementing appropriate treatments, and incorporating natural remedies such as vitamin D, calcium-rich foods, and regular physical activity.
By breaking down the appellation of this condition, the pattern is simple.
– Osteo refers to bones
– Porosis indicates porous bones
Osteoporosis is a major deterioration of bone, faster than its formation, resulting in porous bone, and severe loss of density that can lead to a fracture.
At first glance, we often think that bone is inert and never changes.
However, it is a very dynamic tissue that is renewed every 3 to 4 years for its spongy part and every 10 years for its compact.
Bone remodeling is a long process highly dependent on calcium which is maintained at normal levels by parathyroid hormone, calcitonin, and vitamin D.
- Parathyroid hormone is produced by parathyroid glands to compensate for calcium levels.
It increases the breakdown of bone tissue to transfer calcium to the blood.
- Calcitonin is produced by the thyroid glands to regulate a high level of calcium and contributes to the formation of the bone while decreasing its decomposition.
- Vitamin D improves the absorption of calcium in the intestine, thus increasing its rate of participation in the formation of bone and fighting against its decomposition.
The balance created by these three factors leads to an optimal bone mass found in an individual in his thirties.
The development of osteoporosis
When a bone breaks down faster than it builds, loss of bone mass occurs and sometimes osteoporosis ensues.
Bone changes lead to the risk of fracture.
Some bones such as the vertebrae, the shoulder blades, and the ribs are essentially made up of porous bone, which further increases their fragility.
Risk factors for osteoporosis
Many factors accelerate the loss of bone mass and increase the risk of severe osteoporosis:
– low estrogen levels
– insufficient calcium level
– excessive alcohol consumption
– corticosteroid drugs
– anticoagulant drugs (Heparin)
– hormonal substitutes (Levothyrox, L-Thyroxine)
– the sedentary lifestyle
– certain diseases such as Turner syndrome, hyperprolactinemia, diabetes mellitus, or Cushing’s disease.
Who has osteoporosis?
The two main types of osteoporosis are postmenopausal osteoporosis and senile osteoporosis.
The decline in estrogen levels associated with menopause leads to increased bone resorption (breakdown).
For senile osteoporosis, a loss of ability to form bone is presumed.
The result is a dominance of resorption over the bone formation in the octogenarian.
Types and symptoms of osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is sneaky and is often detected after a fracture.
The most common fracture is a vertebral fracture, which occurs when one or more vertebrae weaken and give way.
This fracture causes lower back pain, slouching, and hunched posture.
Hip or distal radius (wrist) fractures are also likely to occur, especially in postmenopausal osteoporosis.
Treatment options for osteoporosis
Osteoporosis treatment is primarily focused on bisphosphonate drugs like alendronate or risedronate.
If osteoporosis appears at an advanced stage, teriparatide, a recombinant parathyroid hormone, is indicated.
Indeed, even though this hormone stimulates bone resorption, doctors have discovered that occasional injections of teriparatide increase bone formation.
Unexpectedly, a diuretic such as hydrochlorothiazide has shown an impact on calcium retention in the kidney, thereby decreasing mineral loss from the bone.
Finally, drugs such as Denosumab, a monoclonal antibody, and Raloxifene, a selective estrogen receptor modulator, can also be prescribed as part of post-menopausal osteoporosis.
It is generally believed that suffering from osteoporosis is the consequence of a calcium deficiency and that it is enough to supplement with calcium carbonate every day to make it disappear.
You should know that there are many studies that assess the impact of calcium supplementation on the body and the results are worrying.
In fact, not only does it not improve your bone health, but it puts you at potential risk of heart attack and even stroke.
In addition, too high a calcium level becomes toxic and the body does not eliminate it.
Similarly, the calcium-vitamin D combination does not reduce osteoporosis but appears to increase the risk of kidney stones.
So it’s best to try to maintain sufficient calcium levels through diet.
Eat dairy products, leafy vegetables such as crucifers, spinach, watercress, chard, dried fruits such as dates, shells such as hazelnuts or almonds, and oilseeds such as flax, sunflower, or sesame, will help you balance calcium.
Ban dairy products?
Contrary to what you might think, dairy products are not the best source of calcium to stop osteoporosis.
They are more at risk of causing high calcium levels that the body accepts but does not know how to treat.
This results in a dangerous buildup as they are not excreted.
However, you can fall back on many more digestible calcium-rich foods such as sardines, tofu, almonds, spinach, beans, and even certain mineral waters.
Natural remedies and supplements
Vitamin D promotes the absorption of calcium, so it is essential.
Take a blood test for your vitamin D level and make sure it is still around or above 50ng/ml.
If your rate is very insufficient, you can supplement vitamin D3 (#ad) at a rate of 2000 to 5000IU per day.
This vitamin is often overlooked and yet it is also essential for strengthening bones.
It brings calcium to the bone without diverting it dangerously towards the arteries and participates in bone remodeling.
If you want to supplement, choose the vitamin K2 mk-7 (#ad) which is its most studied form and assimilated by the body.
Vitamin k2-mk7 has been shown to limit bone loss and therefore the risk of fracture, improve bone density and facilitate functioning joints.
The average recommended dosage is 100mcg per day although experiments have shown that a dose above 300mcg per day does not cause any side effects.
Note that if your usual treatment includes an anti-vitamin K (Coumadin, Previscan, Sintrom, Minisintrom… ), any supplementation with this vitamin is proscribed.
Omega 3 fatty acids
Omega 3s are an essential nutrient for bone renewal.
They have directly involved in the bone binding of calcium as well as the synthesis of collagen in the bones.
They are also the allies of vitamin D to strengthen and consolidate them.
But beware, what is most important in Omega 3 is the EPA or eicosapentaenoic acid that we found primarily in fish oil.
Studies have indeed shown that taking Omega 3 type borage oil does not bring the same results.
So opt for Omega 3 essential acids in the fish oil form (#ad).
MSM or methyl-sulfonyl-methane is a sulfur compound that occurs naturally in the body.
It can be used for therapeutic purposes to counter the bone deterioration associated with osteoporosis.
In fact, mineralization is weakened by the reduction of osteoblasts, the bone cells that form bones.
MSM is a kind of sulfur that, in addition to its many benefits for the body, balances its PH.
The dosage can go up to 30 grams per day, which must be reached very slowly to avoid the inconvenience of detoxification.
Note that taking MSM (#ad) with vitamin C can reduce these detox effects.
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body.
It is found in muscles, tendons, bones, and skin where it provides strength and structure.
The hydrolyzed collagen (#ad) has a very interesting therapeutic effect in the context of osteoporosis.
It increases bone density while protecting joint cartilage (osteoarthritis).
The recommended dosage varies between 5 to 30 grams per day.
Vitamin C is well known for its powerful antioxidant effects, cell-protective role, and for boosting immunity.
But recent studies have shown that supplementation with this vitamin plays a vital role in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.
It has the ability to increase bone density significantly.
The most active form is liposomal vitamin C (#ad).
Absolutely avoid ascorbic acid which is very damaging to the stomach and far too acidic for osteoporosis.
Hyaluronic acid is well known for its skin benefits, including treating dry skin, reducing fine lines, and accelerating healing.
It can also relieve joint pain from osteoarthritis.
A hyaluronic acid supplement (#ad) can also have a very positive impact on bone health.
Some studies have shown that it can significantly reduce bone loss in osteopenia, the first stage that precedes osteoporosis.
The recommended dosage is 250mg to 500mg daily for at least one month.
Inadequate magnesium in the diet causes a deficiency that contributes to the development of osteoporosis.
However, it is essential for proper organic functioning.
A few months of supplementation will bring you many benefits.
The recommended dosage is 300mg per day as magnesium bisglycinate (#ad) devoid of digestive side effects and more assimilable by the body.
Strontium is commonly prescribed to improve bone health in the elderly.
It is a mineral that is metabolized in much the same way as calcium.
It concentrates in the skeleton and plays a key role in bone density.
The recommended dosage is 750mg per day as strontium citrate (#ad).
Importance of physical activity for bone health
You know, bones are not static, they constantly reshape.
So you need to encourage your body to pamper them by maintaining a healthy weight or losing weight, walking, and staying active.
Of course, running a marathon won’t do you any good, some studies even show that too much physical activity decreases bone density.
But simple activities like walking, and jogging for a short distance can strengthen your bone structure.
The role of vibration plates
If it is impossible for you to ensure sufficient physical activity to counter osteoporosis, the vibrating plate is indicated.
Indeed, some studies show that a vibration system can increase bone density by more than 30%.
The exercises practiced on this oscillating platform generate stimulation of all the muscles in depth which, thus strengthened, support your bones and joints.
Bone mineral density is therefore improved and two 15-minute sessions per week are enough to obtain good results.
Instinctive muscle contraction is stimulated by this vibrating platform (#ad) which can really compensate for a very damaging lack of activity in the context of osteoporosis.
Note that this device is not recommended if you have a pacemaker, if you suffer from a heart condition or if you have already suffered fractures or a hip or knee replacement.
Managing stress and sleep for bone health
Better managing your stress and sleep is imperative.
Chronic stress generates high cortisol levels which affect your bone density.
You should also ensure that you have sufficient restorative sleep because this time of rest allows the body to repair and rebuild itself.
How to treat osteoporosis without drugs?
Don’t wait until it’s too late to address osteoporosis.
By taking preventive measures, understanding the risk factors, and implementing natural treatments, you can protect your bones and maintain a high quality of life.
Remember to consult with your healthcare professional to develop a personalized plan suited to your needs.
With the right knowledge and proactive steps, you can outsmart osteoporosis and enjoy strong, healthy bones.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is severe osteoporosis?
Assessment of the progress of osteoporosis is carried out through the measurement of bone mineral density (bone densitometry).
This is an x-ray exposure of the femur and spine bone. The denser the bone, the more rays are absorbed.
If, during this examination, the T score is less than or equal to – 2.5 and one or more fractures have already occurred, severe osteoporosis is confirmed.
Does osteoporosis hurt?
In itself, osteoporosis is not a painful condition.
On the other hand, its consequences such as fractures, skeletal deformities, musculotendinous tensions, or inadequate coordination of two joints, generate an acute syndrome and then chronic pain.
How to avoid osteoporosis?
Vitamin D deficiency is often the major cause of osteoporosis.
But other factors such as weight, physical inactivity, excessive alcohol consumption, or smoking can accelerate the evolution of the loss of bone.
A healthy lifestyle and diet are the best prevention of osteoporosis.
What is the difference between osteoarthritis and osteoporosis?
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that affects the joints and more particularly the cartilage in their center, which cracks and breaks apart over time.
Osteoporosis is an impairment of bone density that makes bone porous and brittle.
Early treatment of osteoporosis can slow down bone resorption when it is more difficult to reconstitute the cartilage destroyed by osteoarthritis.