Prevention and Treatment of Osteopenia and Osteoporosis

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a condition in which bone structure weakens and becomes brittle. As a result, fractures can occur quite easily, sometimes with devastating results. Osteopenia ( a milder, earlier form of the problem) and osteoporosis (the more advanced and serious form) commonly afflict people over the age of fifty in the US. In fact, roughly 25% of men and as many as 50% of all women over the age of fifty can expect to suffer an osteoporosis related bone fracture at some time in their lives. Hip fractures are the most worrisome as complications lead to death for 20% of patients within about twelve months of the fracture. These fatalities are caused by complications setting in: most common are pneumonia and blood clots, either from the injury itself or from post-surgical effects.

Spontaneous Fractures

In advanced stages of osteoporosis, vertebrae can simply collapse inwardly, like old buildings imploding. At times, merely opening a window can trigger such a catastrophic event, or even just coughing. When the spine is involved, compression fractures ensue leading to what used to be called, “the widow’s stoop”. Since osteoporosis also causes bones to contract as much as to lessen density, it explains the shrinkage in size frequently observed in older people.

Osteopenia versus Osteoporosis

Osteopenia is a precursor to osteoporosis. If unchecked, the more serious and developed form of the problem will set in. In the US alone, about 34 million people of both genders are estimated to suffer from osteopenia, with a further 10 million experiencing full osteoporosis.

What Leads to Osteoporosis?

In normal circumstances, special cells called osteoblasts build new bone tissue, whilst other cells called osteoclasts break down “old” bone cells for recycling. Both processes are essential. The creation of new bone cells and resorption of old ones reflects natural waxing and waning within a healthy body. Moreover, this yin-yang aspect of osteoblasts and osteoclasts also mirrors the complementary actions of the thyroid and parathyroid glands, which regulate secretion and resorption of calcium in blood and tissues. If too much resorption occurs, either through parathyroid imbalances or through malfunctioning of the osteoblast-osteoclast relationship, this can lead to osteoporosis.

How Does Diet Affect The Bones?

Positive Factors

Bone health requires a rich supply of specific micronutrients. In particular, magnesium, calcium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, silicon, Vitamins D, K, Folate and B12, plus trace minerals strontium, boron, molybdenum, strontium and selenium. Thus, a healthy diet with a range of fresh vegetables, whole grains and fish, plus dark, leafy greens (such as Kale, chard or collards) is optimal.

Negative Factors

Any food, drink or inhaled substance that creates an acidic environment in the body can predispose towards osteoporosis. This includes sodas (soft drinks), cigarettes and excessive alcohol consumption. Tea, on the other hand, which is rich in polyphenols, and moderate wine consumption both enhance bone density. But coffee and even milk can both cause bone degeneration. Coffee’s high caffeine content can interfere with mineral absorption, whereas dairy products – especially homogenized, pasteurized milk – are highly acidic in nature, and the only way the body knows how to neutralize this acidosis is by leaching calcium out from its own bones as an alkalizing agent. Unfortunately, a further negative complication from this common dynamic is that calciferous residues circulating in the blood vessels will attach to vessel walls, leading eventually to plaque build up, cardiovascular disease and stroke. Excess protein or carbohydrate consumption will also acidify the body, triggering the same events.

The Importance of Exercise for Bone Health

Two types of exercise are vital for maintaing bone density: weight bearing and “impact” exercise.

Strength training using weights or resistance builds lean tissue mass which will also translate into stronger bones. Dynamic “impact” exercise, such as jogging, skipping or hiking strengthens bone in another way. The impact to the skeletal bones through the feet as they strike the ground sends a “shudder” through bone tissue, stimulating the piezo-electric effect innate to bone, and thereby strengthening it, recharging it with vital energy and stimulating osteoblasts.

How Are Hormones Involved?

A healthy functioning thyroid and parathyroid are vital for strong bones, as these two glands regulate calcium levels in the body. In conventional medicine, calcitonin is often prescribed for osteopenia or osteoporosis in post-menopausal women, along with triple estrogen therapy (estriol, estrone and estradiol) plus progesterone, testosterone and DHEA. Decreasing levels of these hormones as the body ages contribute directly to bone weakening. This entropy is frequently connected to a depletion of the adrenal glands, which normally secrete sex hormones and DHEA. When these hormonal problems are effectively supplemented, muscle strength, bone density and skin tone can be improved. However, there are many serious side effects that present with hormone replacement therapy, which can eventually promote cancers and other serious diseases. Fortunately, there is now available a safe SERM alternative for women, which is extracted from a herb native to Thailand, pueraria mirifica. When combined with B12 and folates, this herbal preparation offers tremendous support for the endocrine system, thereby assisting with bone repair and prevention of osteoporosis. (More information on acquiring pueraria mirifica can be found at www.longevityplus.com, under HRT+).

Hormonal And Energetic (FIR) Solutions for Osteoporosis

  1. Safe SERM with Pueraria (HRT+) provides a safe and natural version of bio-identical estrogen, and is an alternative to bio-identical hormone replacement therapy which has such an important role in preventing osteoporosis.
  2. ONNETSU far infra-red therapy can support hormone rebalancing. This remarkable therapy brings a combination of heat and FIR frequencies in the 8-14 micron range. When applied directly to the body map areas corresponding to endocrine organs, the ONNETSU therapy will revitalize these organs through the combination of FIR and therapeutic heat. (For more information, please see the ONNETSU description on the Treatment Methods page of www.fridayharborholistichealth.com.)

Micronutrient Solutions for Osteopenia/Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis can be prevented or, if necessary, treated using micronutrient (orthomolecular) formulas combined with select herbal ingredients. When these natural supplements are taken at the correct therapeutic doses for the individual, in the correct balance and with regularity, bone health can be greatly enhanced. When these supplements are taken together with a good diet and therapeutic exercise, along with ONNETSU therapy, the improvements are likely to be synergistically amplified.

What are some of the most essential micronutrients when treating osteoporosis?

  • Calcium: While calcium is the single most important mineral for sustaining bone health, it cannot be absorbed or utilized effectively without most of the additional nutrients listed below. Taking calcium without these co-factors is unlikely to be effective, even at high doses. Postmenopausal men and men over 65 also require higher than normal daily intake of calcium (as do pregnant and breast-feeding mothers.)
  • Magnesium: Magnesium is another hugely important mineral for bone health, and most people, especially post-menopausal women and older men, have decreased absorption rates of this mineral. Many studies have demonstrated the vital importance that adequate levels of magnesium play in bone health, above and beyond its obvious role in regulating calcium levels. Magnesium and calcium should be present in the body in equal proportions. Having too much calcium relative to magnesium can be very damaging to the body, partly by depositing excess calcium into joints and the lining of arteries, as well as the brain.
  • Trace minerals, in particular: Strontium, Boron, and Molybdenum. Vitamin B12: Low levels of B12 correlate with poor bone density, therefore supplementing with B12 to ensure adequate levels are present is of utmost importance. HRT+ provides effective B12 supplementation along with safe SERM.
  • Folate: Folic acid works synegistically with B12 and is also present in HRT+.
  • Vitamin D3: There is a significant protective factor for fall related fractures from Vitamin D. Many people, especially the elderly and those living in northern areas, are severely deficient in Vitamin D. It is necessary to supplement by at least 800IU daily in order to achieve therapeutic protection demonstrated in a number of clinical studies: such studies show a decrease of around 22% in the number of fractures amongst older persons taking 800IU of Vitamin D daily.
  • Vitamin K1 and K2: Vitamin K, especially Vitamin K2, is vital for the assimilation and transport of calcium from the gut, and for the formation of bone producing proteins.
  • Anthoflavones, Ipriflavones and Osteoflavones: plant or, in the case of osteoflavones, animal derived substances that enhance bone nutrient absorption in the gut, strengthen human bone tissue, and protect against osteoporosis.
  • Polyphenols: Extracts from green tea, resveratrol (the protective substance found in red wine and derived from grape skins) and other antioxidants.

The Importance of Heavy Metal Chelation

Everyone today has been exposed to a bewildering array of chemical toxins of all sorts, such as PCBs, dioxins and heavy metals. Toxic metals, in particular lead, can slowly accumulate in the body over many years, and lodge deep within bone tissue. Thus removing these toxic elements from bone is a pre-requisite not only for bone health, but also for overall health and longevity. It can take many years to completely clear out lead toxins from bone. However, it is possible to do so using simple and safe oral chelation. New advances in oral chelation have made this possible. Products we highly recommend are “Beyond Chelation Improved” (made by www.longevityplus.com), and “Zeogold”, an advanced form of microhydro-colloidal zeolite. * These products can be safely taken with meals at home to advance wellness and detoxification.

Bone Health in Eastern Medicine

In TCM, bone density is considered to be an aspect of kidney health. The oriental concept of the kidneys is larger than the western one, and includes an energetic domain, not merely a physical organ. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the kidney is the seat of the life-force, and both bone marrow and brain tissue depend directly on the levels of energy held within the kidneys. This concept clearly explains why aging typically leads to a decline in cognitive and other mental faculties at the same time as a weakening of bone structure.

Conversely, by strengthening the kidney energy – or Kidney Qi – these problems can be averted or, in some cases, reversed. TCM has many traditional herbal formulas for treating the Kidney energy. Acupuncture treatments are also very helpful as are Qi Gong practices. Modern, hi-tech ONNETSU therapy applies FIR frequencies directly into the kidneys, enhancing blood flow through these vital organs, and stimulating their energetic capacity to support both bone and brain health.

SUMMARY

Whether as a preventive or therapeutic approach to bone health (asymptomatic, osteopenia or osteoporosis), a combination of the methods explained above is likely to give the best overall results. This combination includes:

  • Micronutrient supplementation. We highly recommend a formula called “Beyond Bone Defense”.
  • ONNETSU FIR therapy applied to bone, kidney meridian points and endocrine organs.
  • Beneficial diet and avoidance of negative factors such as acidifying foods, sodas and cigarettes.
  • Weight bearing and “impact”/piezo-electric exercise.
  • Herbal Chinese medicine approaches to strengthening the Kidney energy.
  • Hormonal support using safe SERM supplementation. We highly recommend “HRT+”.

* For an explanation of how zeolite works, please go to www.fridayharborholistichealth.com and read the article about Mercury in the Health Articles section.

©Nicholas Corrin & Eclectic Healing Arts, 2009

Disclaimer

This article is meant to inform, and is for educational purposes only. In no way is it intended to diagnose or to treat any condition or disease, nor is it intended to prescribe or to suggest to prescribe anything. It is recommended that no actions be taken independently of a consultation with a qualified medical health professional. It is strongly recommended that no-one seek to self-diagnose or to discontinue or replace any medication they may be on without full discussion with their physician.

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