Your bones are like other parts of your body – alive and constantly growing. Some bone cells dissolve and some grow to replace them in a process called remodeling.
Osteoporosis is a thinning of the bones and for people with this condition, bone loss outpaces the growth of new bone. This causes bones to become brittle and subject to fracture. Fractures of the vertebrae, hip and other bones lead to serious long-term consequences. Fully 24% of hip fracture patients older than 50 will die within one year of the fracture.
More women are affected by osteoporosis than men. A woman’s risk of osteoporosis is equal to her combined risk of breast, ovarian, and uterine cancer!
What Causes Osteoporosis?
A variety of things combine to create osteoporosis. They include:
- Low estrogen in women – Older women have a drop in estrogen, especially after menopause.
- Low testosterone in men – Men convert estrogen into bone-preserving estrogen.
- Poor nutrition – Obesity is linked to osteoporosis. Poor food choices lead to poor nutrition. Poor nutrition contributes to osteoporosis. Cola drinkers have a higher risk of osteoporosis.
- Hormonal imbalances – Hormones play a big role in bone density. Some regulate how well your bones use calcium. Less calcium means weaker bones. Your body produces less growth hormones as you age. Issues with high thyroid levels are also associated with bone loss.
- Lack of sunshine – Not enough sunshine means not enough vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiencies are bad for your bones (see below).
- Lack of proper calcium absorption – Calcium is important in building new bone. Most people with a calcium issues have challenges with how it is absorbed by the body. Keep reading to learn our views on calcium supplementation
- Lack of vitamin D – Vitamin D helps your body use and absorb calcium, which is vital for bone health and growth.
- Being inactive – Inactivity causes bones to weaken.
- Medications – Cortisone, Prednisone, and antiseizure drugs are linked to bone loss.
- Little direct skin contact with the Earth’s surface – The electromagnetic field of the Earth is important to overall health.
- Certain medical issues – Cystic Fibrosis, digestive diseases and other conditions can cause bone loss.
Are Pharmaceuticals a Strong Treatment Option?
Don’t trust a pill or injection to protect you. Obviously, women do not develop osteoporosis because of a drug deficiency.
The drug companies have capitalized on the fear of bone fracture. They trot out the picture of the old lady, hunched over from osteoporosis and bone fracture. We are certainly not discounting the magnitude of this condition. But are drugs the solution?
The standard medical treatment is a nasty group of pharmaceuticals that have limited benefits to prevent bone loss and fractures. These drugs carry tremendous side effect potential as well including osteonecrosis of the jaw and esophageal perforation.
But that’s not all. The drug Fosamax is linked to a 100% increase in the risk of atrial fibrillation, a scary heart rhythm that can lead to a stroke.
The issue of pharmaceuticals for osteoporosis and fracture prevention was brought up in my office recently. Another physician (not holistic), advised my patient to start a pharmaceutical because she has evidence of osteoporosis. The drug does lower hip fracture risk…from 1.2% to 0.7% over a 3-year period. Fracture risk in the vertebrae (bones of the back) was much lower in the drug group.
Of the hundreds of drugs, most have not been studied for bone loss. However, some drugs have and these include the stomach acid blockers (PPI’s), anti-depressants, and steroids. Tens of millions of people take PPI’s like Prilosec and Nexium. It stands to reason that these drugs have serious side effects, given the fact they block the digestive process and nutrient absorption. Please read our information on heartburn for more information about these drugs.
Should You Take Calcium Supplements?
I am not a proponent of calcium supplementation. We include a little in our multivitamin, but otherwise, calcium is not found in most of our products except what naturally occurs in our food powders. We get plenty of calcium from our organic, Paleo diet. Anchovy, sardines, eggs, organs, and green leafy vegetables (kale, chard, dandelion) provide loads of calcium. Vitamin D keeps it in the bloodstream and vitamin K keeps it in the bones and out of the arteries.
Natural Treatment Remedies for Osteoporosis
- Get your blood tested – See your holistic physician for comprehensive blood testing. This will help with an assessment about the cause of your osteoporosis and the best treatment options.
- Get proper nutrition. Eat only organic Paleo foods. Paleo foods will give you the nutrition you need and help you establish and maintain an ideal weight. Eat lots of vitamin K containing foods like leafy greens, eggs, seafood, and organ meats. Eggs, seafood and organ meats are high in vitamin D. Keep your bones strong by drinking quality water. Do you need milk to prevent osteoporosis? Cows don’t drink milk and they don’t have osteoporosis. You don’t need milk.
- Get sunshine – Vitamin D keeps bones strong by increasing calcium absorption in the gut and retention in the kidneys. We make vitamin D by exposing our skin to the sun. Sunburn is bad. Sunshine is good. Embrace the sun in the nude and you will save your bones.
- Connect with the Earth – Reclaim the energy from our planet by walking/standing barefoot whenever possible. Grass or sand are the best options.
- Be active – The evidence is clear that the more active you are with exercise, the less the osteoporosis. Lift weights and do yoga. Garden without shoes on.
- Sleep 8-9 hours a day – Sleep allows the body to heal itself and rejuvenates your body in the process. A sufficient quantity of quality sleep is needed each day to naturally combat osteoporosis.
- Take nutritional supplements – Supplements will support the healthy diet and lifestyle. In addition to our Foundation 5, consider:
- Super D – Please get your vitamin D from the sun whenever possible. Get naked in the sun all summer long. We sun ourselves year-round in Arizona. But in cities lacking sunshine, supplements are helpful. The minimum blood level of vitamin D should be 50. Get tested. Serum calcium should also be monitored. Eggs, seafood and organ meats are high in vitamin D. Eat them.
- Super K – There are two forms of vitamin K: 1 and 2. 1 comes from plants. 2 comes from animal products. Eat both and take your Super K. Vitamin K keeps calcium in bones and out of the heart arteries. In one study, women who took vitamin K2 at 45 mcg (same dose as our MULTI), decreased fracture risk from 30% to 10%. That is a huge reduction!
- Magnesium Glycinate – Magnesium is a mineral essential for hundreds of functions in the body. Bone health is one of them. Women who consume the most amount of magnesium from food (avocado, veggies, nuts), have the lowest risk of osteoporosis and fracture.