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Osteoporosis



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What Is Osteoporosis

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.  

Signs Of Osteoporosis

The loss of bone density may not reveal any outward signs or symptoms.  Many people with Osteoporosis won't know they experience and unexpected bone fracture after a minor fall.  There are not many symptoms associated with the condition, but one may experience increased bone fractures after mild strains, slips, or falls.  Other symptoms include:

  • Decreased Bone Density
  • Increased Fractures (after minor falls or the like)
  • Lower Back Pain (if you experience repeated spinal fractures)
  • Altered Posture (also due to spinal fractures)
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

Dherbs Approach...adjusting your diet is always key!

Natural Remedies
  • 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.  Avoiding salt is a good step, but you can further aid your health by eliminating processed foods, meat, dairy products, alcohol, tobacco, and sugar from your diet.  Eating a more plant-based diet can provide you with essential nutrients that can help strengthen your bones.  
  • 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 your 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. 
  • Exercising has a positive effect on bone health.  Lifting weights (don't lift too heavy or stress the body) can improve bone health and exercises like hiking, climbing stairs, or walking force the bones to work against gravity and can increase bone mass.  You can also try exercises like Tai Chi or yoga, which utilize body postures that help relax and simultaneously strengthen core muscle groups. 
  • 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. 
  • 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 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. 
Things you should eat
  • Collard, Turnip, Dandelion, and Mustard Greens
  • Kale
  • Okra
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Artichokes
  • Tomatoes
  • Bananas & Plantains
  • Avocados
  • Bell Peppers
  • Oranges & Grapefruit
  • Pineapples
  • Papayas
  • Strawberries
  • Pine Nuts
  • Raw Almonds
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Pumpkin, Sunflower, & Flax Seeds
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