Affecting any person of any gender, osteoporosis is a condition that results in reduced bone density or bone fragility. Literally meaning “porous bones,” Osteoporosis primarily occurs in post-menopausal women because of the sudden decrease in protective estrogen levels. The condition makes your bones like sponges and can lead to frequent bone fractures. While osteoporosis doesn’t make people fall, people with osteoporosis have a higher risk of breaking a bone if they do fall because of the increased bone fragility.
What Causes Osteoporosis?
There isn’t a single cause of osteoporosis; rather, several factors are believed to contribute to the development of the condition. One can develop osteoporosis if there is a familial history of the condition, if bone structure is smaller than normal, or, and most commonly, about 5 years after menopause when estrogen levels have dropped. Our bones are not static. There is a constant turnover process that helps replace the old and damaged bones. Increased age can lead to a higher bone breakdown rate and lower bone-building rate. This causes the bones to weaken and can lead to osteoporosis. Causes are listed below:
- Medical Conditions (Anorexia, Bulimia, or Orthorexia)
- Tobacco Smoking
- Excessive Alcohol Consumption
- Reduced Calcium, Magnesium, and Vitamin D Levels
- Decreased Estrogen Levels (in post-menopausal women)
- Certain Medications (thyroid hormone replacement, antidepressants, or some antacids, among others)
- Inactivity or Immobility
- Bone Fracture History
It’s important to avoid salt because salt causes your body to lose calcium and can lead to bone loss. Additionally, overconsumption of salt can lead to hypertension, high cholesterol, or put you at risk for developing heart disease.
Eat An Alkaline Diet
Eating an alkaline diet can help keep your bones strong. When there are too many acidic foods in the body, it has to borrow alkalizing minerals from the bones to help balance its pH level. Eating raw fruits and vegetables can help you re-establish your body’s natural pH level.
Acupuncture can be a beneficial treatment for osteoporosis because it naturally relaxes the body and straightens out a person’s Chi. While studies are still being conducted, combining herbal treatments with acupuncture is showing positive results.
Eat Magnesium & Calcium Rich Foods
Magnesium and calcium are two important minerals that are essential for proper bone health. Having a diet rich in both of these can contribute to healthier bones. You don’t have to eat meat or dairy to get these minerals. You can eat dark leafy greens, bananas, avocados, oranges, grapefruit, cabbage, and broccoli, among many others, to incorporate more magnesium and calcium in your diet.
Boost Your Estrogen
If you are a post-menopausal woman, there are herbs you can consume that help boost estrogen levels. Because decreased estrogen levels can lead to osteoporosis, this can be a beneficial, natural remedy. Black cohosh helps boost phytoestrogens and can contribute to bone health. While red clover hasn’t been proven to help bone health, it has many estrogen compounds, and estrogen helps protect bones.
It’s a good idea to decrease stress because cortisol, the body’s main stress hormone, is detrimental to bone health. You can get massages, receive acupuncture treatments, meditate, exercise, and ensure proper sleeping habits to help decrease your stress levels.