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Osteoporosis is a bone disease characterized by the excessive bone breakdown and decreased density of the skeleton. The natural ways to boost your bones include sleeping on your back, taking preventative measures against falls, and eating enough protein-rich foods like eggs.
According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, osteoporosis and reduced bone density afflict 44 million women and men over the age of 50 in the United States alone. That’s a stunning 55 percent of all Americans aged 50 and over, which is why poor bone mass is now considered a “serious public health hazard.”
Osteoporosis means “porous bones” in Greek. The fact that osteoporosis is frequently “silent,” accumulating over many years yet going unrecognized, is a frightening truth. Many persons with osteoporosis have no visible signs of pain (you can’t “feel” your bones failing) until they finally suffer a bone fracture.
What is the best and safest therapy for osteoporosis? Getting adequate exercise (particularly resistance training), correcting hormone imbalances, avoiding vitamin D insufficiency, and following an “osteoporosis diet” are all natural osteoporosis therapies that may be quite helpful.
Your food is important for bone health because it impacts whether you’re getting enough protein, key vitamins, and minerals, including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese, all of which play a role in bone production.
What Is Osteoporosis and How Does It Affect You?
“A bone disease that develops when the body loses too much bone creates too little bone, or both,” according to the definition of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is most often found in women over the age of 50, although it may also affect younger women and men. According to estimates, one in every two women (50%) and one in every four males (25%) over the age of 50 may break a bone at some time owing to osteoporosis.
Osteoporotic bones have visible aberrant tissue structure when seen under a microscope. Small holes or weaker places in the bones cause osteoporosis, which may lead to bone fractures (broken bones), bone pain, and other issues, including a Dowager’s hump (abnormal outward curvature of the thoracic vertebrae of the upper back, causing the appearance of a hump).
What is the difference between osteoporosis and osteopenia? Osteopenia is a disorder that causes bone loss and weakening, although it is not as serious as osteoporosis. The Harvard Medical School puts it this way:
Both disorders result in variable degrees of bone loss as assessed by bone mineral density, a metric that indicates how strong a bone is and how likely it is to shatter. Normal bone mineral density is at the top of the slope, whereas osteoporosis is at the bottom. Osteopenia, which affects over half of all Americans over the age of 50, is somewhere in the middle.
Symptoms and Signs
In terms of symptoms and long-term implications, how “severe” is osteoporosis? Weak and shattered bones are tough to cure and manage; thus, this condition should not be treated lightly.
In older individuals, bone fractures or the surgery necessary to repair broken bones may result in life-threatening complications and lifelong impairment. Breaks in mobility and independence, such as those caused by falls or slips, may also lead to mental issues such as pessimism and sadness.
The following are the most prevalent osteoporosis symptoms when they do occur:
- Bone fractures due to osteoporosis. Fractures and fractures in the hip, spine, and wrist are the most frequent. They also impact the feet, knees, and other body parts.
- Limited movement, difficulties moving about, and difficulty carrying out daily tasks. Many older people who break a bone may need to stay in a nursing home for a long time or will need help at home from a caregiver.
- Bone pain may be both permanent and terrible at times.
- A reduction in height.
- Standing in a hunched or stooped position. This happens because the vertebrae, or spine bones, might weaken over time.
- Isolation or despair are common feelings.
- An increased chance of mortality among the elderly. Around 20% of seniors who break their hips die within a year.
Risk Factors and Causes
Low bone mass is caused by several circumstances, including advanced age, vitamin inadequacies from a poor diet, pre-existing health issues, and so on. However, the following are the primary causes of osteoporosis:
- Inactivity, or too little exercise, which helps preserve bone mass, is a risk factor for osteoporosis.
- Hormonal abnormalities, particularly reduced estrogen levels in women, are the root of many menopausal symptoms. Low testosterone levels in males might lead to a loss of bone mass. Osteoporosis affects women more than males, owing to a drop in hormones during menopause.
- Medical illnesses such as autoimmune diseases, lung disease, renal disease, or liver disease in the past
- Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), aromatase inhibitors, fertility drugs/hormonal pharmaceuticals, anti-seizure medications, and steroids used for a long time (glucocorticoids or corticosteroids).
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Emotional tension and despair are at an all-time high.
- Nutritional inadequacies, particularly in bone-building vitamins and minerals including calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin K
- Weight loss, calorie restriction, and malnutrition are all common causes of malnutrition.
The two highest risk factors for osteoporosis are being a woman and being above the age of 70. It’s also possible to acquire osteoporosis or have a poor bone density due to a variety of health issues that deplete minerals in the body and weaken bones over time.
The following are some examples of health issues that are risk factors for osteoporosis:
- Cancer of the breast or prostate
- Cushing’s syndrome
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), lupus, multiple sclerosis, and ankylosing spondylitis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Disorders of the blood hematology
- Premature menopause, the female athletic triad, or irregular/absent periods
- Emphysema is a kind of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
- Chronic kidney
- Cirrhosis of the liver, especially biliary cirrhosis
- Transplantation of organs
- Poliomyelitis (poliomyelitis) and post-polio syndrome
- Injuries to the spinal cord
A bone mineral density (BMD) test is often used to identify people with osteoporosis. A unique machine evaluates the quantity of bone mineral present in specific locations of bone, commonly the hips, spine, forearms, wrists, fingers, or heels, to conduct a BMD test. A BMD test is often performed using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA scan).
Taking a patient’s medical history, completing a physical exam, urine and blood tests to determine underlying diseases, biochemical marker tests, x-rays, and spinal fracture evaluations are all studies that may assist in confirming a diagnosis (VFAs). For example, if your height has reduced, your doctor may believe you’ve lost bone mass since this is often the result of small fractures occurring in the spine.
What is the outlook for someone who has osteoporosis? How long can you live with osteoporosis, for example? Osteoporosis is normally not life-threatening, so if you take actions to halt its growth, you may live a long time with it. Daily weight-bearing activity, for example, may help you progressively develop bone mass and reduce your risk of issues as you become older.
How long does it take for osteoporosis to heal? Low bone density may typically be maintained or even improved unless someone has a severe form of osteoporosis. This may take anywhere from six to twelve weeks and, in some cases, much longer. However, bone mass seldom returns to normal after being diagnosed with osteoporosis, even with therapy (including drugs). The objective is to avoid further bone deterioration and falls, fractures, and accidents.
Treatment in the Past
Traditional osteoporosis therapy uses medications, exercise, and dietary adjustments. There are a variety of drugs that may help prevent bone loss, but not all of them are suited for everyone. Your doctor’s recommendation for medicine is based on your age, gender, medical history (for example, whether you’ve had cancer or an autoimmune condition), and the underlying reasons for bone loss (such as your diet and lifestyle).
The following are some of the drugs used to treat osteoporosis:
- Bisphosphonates are a kind of bisphosphonate that is (most are suitable for both men and women).
- Ligand inhibitors are ranked in order of effectiveness (suitable for both men and women).
- Boniva, for example, is a bisphosphonate that is specifically for women.
- Agonists of parathyroid hormone-related proteins.
- Hormone replacement treatment (HRT) is a kind of hormone replacement therapy (most are for women only). Estrogen agonist/antagonist (also known as selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM)) or tissue-specific estrogen complex are examples of these.
Treatment using Natural Ingredients
Even while it’s preferable if osteoporosis is detected and treated early on, there are things you can do to control symptoms and slow the disease’s progression. You can do several things to help your bones stay healthy and decrease symptoms like pain and loss of mobility.
1. Eat a balanced diet
What foods should you consume if you have osteoporosis? Make eating adequate protein and foods rich in key nutrients, such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and vitamin K, a priority (specific recommendations can be found below).
Because protein makes up half of the construction of your bones, a low-protein diet does not promote healing as effectively as a high-protein one. However, it’s critical to strike a balance between protein and mineral consumption.
How much protein should you consume daily? The recommended daily amount for adults is between 0.8 and 1.0 grams per kilogram of body weight per day. Grass-fed beef, wild-caught fish, pastured eggs and poultry, fermented cheese and yogurt, nuts, seeds, beans, and legumes are all good sources of protein.
2. Engage in Physical Activity
Exercise may help persons with osteoporosis grow bone mass, enhance balance and flexibility, decrease stress, and reduce inflammation, among other benefits. But should you avoid certain workouts if you have osteoporosis? To be safe, stay away from any activities that entail a lot of leaping, bending forward from the waist, or spine twisting.
Bone strength is best supported by walking and other weight-bearing exercises. The following are the kind of workouts that are most advised for those with poor bone density:
To help you, you may use a chair, a wall, bands, lightweights, and tubes. Even softer kinds of exercise may be beneficial; according to some studies, individuals who practice tai chi had a 47 percent lower risk of falling and a 25 percent lower risk of hip fracture than those who do not.
This is probably not the ideal sort of exercise for you if you suffer discomfort and soreness for more than one or two days after exercising. If you’re unclear about which kind is ideal for you, see your doctor or physical therapist.
Weight training workouts are vital for improving bone density. Strength training should be done three times a week for at least 30 minutes each session. It’s ideal to do “compound motions” that target numerous body areas at once. Squats, barbell and dumbbell presses, dips, all sorts of push-ups, deadlifts, jumping rope, and pull-ups are examples of complex exercises. If you’re new to strength training and this seems daunting, try hiring a personal trainer or enrolling in group fitness programs.
I also propose that you experiment with vibration platforms. To assist naturally building bone density, you stand on one of these platforms for 5–20 minutes each day.
3. Assist in the Prevention of Falls
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, one-third of all adults over 65 falls each year, and many of these falls end in a fracture or shattered bone. Here are some precautions you may take at home or when out and about to lessen your chance of falling and harming yourself:
- If necessary, use a walker or cane.
- Slowly rise from a seated or supine position.
- When venturing outdoors in the dark, keep your house brightly lighted and carry a flashlight.
- Wear stable and comfy shoes to assist you balance (sneakers, low-heeled shoes with rubber soles, boots, flats instead of heels, etc.)
- When possible, use handrails to help you ascend stairs.
- After it has rained or snowed, be cautious while walking on slick roads or sidewalks.
- Avoid walking on wet, slick marble or tile that has been excessively polished.
- Clear your porch, deck, pathways, and driveway to create safe walking routes around your property.
- Keep a light on outside your front entrance.
- Place goods you use the most often in convenient reach within your house. To prevent straining, stooping, or injury, use assistive aids. For example, it is necessary to use a strong step stool.
- Consider wearing a personal emergency response system (PERS) if you live alone.
- Remove any stray cables, cords, or carpets. Keep debris off the floors and carpets, so you don’t trip.
- Install grab bars in the shower or tub and on the bathroom walls.
- Install non-skid mats or rugs in your kitchen.
- Make sure stairwells are well illuminated.
- Avoid rushing around since this increases your chances of falling.
4. The Use of Essential Oils
Applying essential oils directly to damaged regions and consuming them may help enhance bone density, assist bone healing, and relieve osteoporosis-related discomfort. I suggest using essential oils such as ginger, orange, sage, rosemary, and thyme topically three times every day. Then, apply a few drops to any uncomfortable regions with a carrier oil like coconut oil.
Wintergreen, cypress, fir, helichrysum, peppermint, eucalyptus, and lemongrass oil are some of the other essential oils that are occasionally recommended for osteoporosis. To help you relax, try therapeutic treatments like aroma-touch, acupuncture, and massage.
5. Vitamin D Levels Boosted by Sunshine
The easiest method to avoid a vitamin D deficit is to obtain around 20 minutes of sun exposure on your naked skin every day. It would help if you exposed vast regions of your skin to the sun without sunscreen for short periods to produce adequate vitamin D. The more sunshine you need to create adequate vitamin D, the darker your skin tone.
Even with the same amount of sun exposure, studies show that older folks have a tougher difficulty producing vitamin D than younger ones. Therefore, it’s advised that you supplement with vitamin D3 if you live in a cold region and don’t go outdoors often (such as during the winter) or if you’re over 60.
- Magnesium (500 mg per day) is necessary for optimal calcium metabolism.
- Calcium (1000 mg per day) – Calcium citrate is the most absorbable form of calcium.
- Vitamin D3 (5,000 IU per day) – Vitamin D aids calcium absorption.
- Vitamin K2 (100 mcg per day) is required to synthesize a protein that is essential for bone development. Increase your vitamin K intake by taking a high-quality vitamin K2 supplement or eating more vitamin K-rich foods.
- Strontium (680 mg per day) is a metal that may aid with bone density. Seawater, nutrient-rich soil, and some foods contain it naturally, but most people need to supplement to acquire enough.
7. Talking to your doctor about your medication regimen
Suppose you’re using steroids to treat an existing health problem like rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, Crohn’s disease, cancer, or lupus. In that case, you should exercise more, eat a mineral-rich diet, and stop smoking to safeguard your bones. Cortisone, dexamethasone (Decadron), methylprednisolone (Medrol), and prednisone are examples of common steroid medications.
It has been shown that using these drugs for three months or longer increases your chance of losing bone mass and getting osteoporosis. While some medications may be required to treat critical illnesses, you should still see your doctor about the best dosage for you and other alternatives depending on your risk of bone loss.
What is the best natural osteoporosis treatment? Eating a nutrient-dense diet is an important element of osteoporosis therapy and prevention because your body needs many minerals, notably calcium and magnesium, to preserve your bones.
An alkaline diet is the greatest sort of diet for bone health. Calcium, magnesium, and phosphate, among other minerals, are crucial for developing bones and preserving lean muscle mass, and an alkaline diet may help balance these ratios. Alkaline diets also aid in generating growth hormones and the absorption of vitamin D, both of which are beneficial to bone health as you age.
The foods listed below contain key nutrients that aid in the development and maintenance of bone density:
- Raw cultured dairy products like kefir, amasai, yogurt, and raw cheese are high in calcium, magnesium, vitamin K, phosphorus, and vitamin D, all of which are essential for healthy bones.
- Calcium-rich foods – Because calcium is an important structural component of the skeleton, a calcium deficit may lead to shattered bones. All dairy products, green vegetables (such as broccoli, okra, kale, and watercress), almonds, and sardines are excellent sources of calcium.
- Manganese-rich foods – Manganese aids in producing bone mass and helps to regulate hormones naturally. Whole grains including teff, brown rice, buckwheat, rye, oats, and amaranth, beans and legumes, macadamia nuts, and hazelnuts are some of the greatest sources.
- Osteoporosis may be linked to chronic inflammation in wild-caught fish. Certain fish include omega-3 fatty acids, which aid in decreasing inflammation. Wild salmon, sardines, anchovies, mackerel, and halibut are among the finest sources.
- Sea vegetables – These vegetables are abundant in nutrients that are important for bone building and antioxidants that are beneficial to general health. Algae, nori, wakame, agar, and kombu should all be included in your diet.
- Green leafy veggies – Bones need vitamin K and calcium, both of which are abundant in green leafy vegetables. Kale, spinach, Swiss chard, watercress, collard greens, mustard greens, dandelion greens, and escarole are some of the greatest sources.
- Alkaline foods — Because osteoporosis is linked to an acidic environment, eating enough fruits and vegetables may help create a more alkaline environment, which can help prevent bone loss. Green vegetables, fresh herbs and spices, grapefruit, tomatoes, avocado, black radish, alfalfa grass, barley grass, cucumber, kale, jicama, wheatgrass, broccoli, cabbage, celery, beets, watermelon, and ripe bananas are the foods with the highest alkaline content. In addition, green juices produced from powdered green vegetables and grasses, which are high in alkaline-forming foods and chlorophyll, are one of the greatest things to consume.
- Other high-quality proteins – It’s important to remember that a low-protein diet might harm bone health in the elderly. On the other hand, Extremely high-protein diets are not the healthiest since they tend to be too acidic, so maintaining a balance is crucial. Therefore, every meal should include a reasonable quantity of clean, high-quality proteins such as grass-fed beef, wild-caught fish, pastured eggs and poultry, fermented cheese and yogurt, nuts, seeds, beans, and legumes.
If you have osteoporosis, what foods should you avoid? The foods listed below may exacerbate bone loss and lead to osteoporosis or poor bone mass:
- Too much alcohol causes inflammation, which causes more calcium to be leached from the bones.
- Sweetened drinks – Soda’s high phosphorus content may deplete calcium levels in the bones. Inflammation is also increased by sugar.
- Sugar — Increases inflammation, which may exacerbate osteoporosis.
- Processed and red meat – High salt and red meat consumption might lead to bone loss.
- Caffeine – An excessive amount of caffeine might lead to bone loss.
- Smoking should also be avoided since it exacerbates many chronic health disorders.
See your doctor straight soon if you have a bone fracture, chronic bone pain, a deepening hunch in your back, or repetitive injuries. It’s critical to treat the bone loss as soon as possible since it often increases with age.
Make sure your doctor is aware of any previous illnesses you’ve had (eating disorders, autoimmune diseases, etc. ), as well as your exercise regimen, food, and other risk factors.
- Osteoporosis is a bone disease caused by the body losing too much bone, not making enough bone or both. This results in brittle bones, which raises the risk of fractures and injuries.
- Aging, bad nutrition, lack of exercise, hormonal changes, calorie restriction, certain drugs, and various health disorders such as cancer, diabetes, and autoimmune illnesses are all causes of osteoporosis.
- Exercise, a good diet, vitamins, and, in rare cases, drugs are used to treat osteoporosis.
- Eat a mineral- and protein-rich diet, avoid falls and slips, undertake daily weight-bearing exercises, get enough sunshine to synthesize vitamin D, utilize essential oils, and control stress to help manage osteoporosis symptoms.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you heal osteoporosis naturally?
A: Yes, you can heal osteoporosis by eating a healthy diet and exercising.
How can I regrow bone density?
A: If you are interested in regrowing bone density, your best bet is to talk to a doctor about what kind of supplements or exercises will be the most beneficial for you.
Can you rebuild bone if you have osteoporosis?
A: Yes, you can rebuild bone if you have osteoporosis.
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