Why Do We Develop Osteoporosis?
Bone Health For A Lifetime
Healthy bones are essential for an active lifestyle.
In every area of life, whether it is work, sports or just every day activities, good bone health is essential.
A Lifetime Of Bone Health
Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by a loss of bone mass and deterioration of bone structure resulting in an increased risk of fracture. Osteoporosis is known as the "silent thief" because if not prevented or left untreated, the loss of bone will occur and progress without you knowing it. During each stage of life, bones have certain nutritional needs that must be met to ensure healthy growth and maintenance.
Growth: Pregnancy and Lactation
An unborn baby's nutritional needs increase as she or he grows, especially during the last trimester. If mom's nutrient intake is insufficient, the baby's bone requirements can be drawn from mom's bones. This increases the mothers risk of osteoporosis later in her life.
Growth, Childhood & Adolescence
Most often, attention is given to the loss of bone later in life, yet very few talk about the other half of the equation - building bone during the growing years. From birth until puberty, bone growth occurs at a very rapid pace. Approximately 90 % of bone is formed by age 17. In fact, osteoporosis can be called "a pediatric disease with geriatric consequences," because if one does not develop good quality bones in childhood, it is more likely that we set the stage for osteoporosis later in life.
Maintaining & Childbearing Years
It is recognized that by age 30, a woman's bones are at their peak strength.
Recent research reveals that nutrition and lifestyle choices can have a positive effect on bone strength after the age of 40.
What Causes Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis Can Sneak up on You
Osteoporosis is often called a silent disease because one can’t feel bones weakening. Breaking a bone is often the first sign of osteoporosis or a patient may notice that he or she is getting shorter or their upper back is curving forward. If you are experiencing height loss or your spine is curving, be sure to consult your doctor or healthcare professional immediately.
Diseases, Conditions and Medical Procedures That May Cause Bone Loss
There are many health problems and a few medical procedures that increase the likelihood of osteoporosis. If you have any of the following diseases or conditions, talk to your doctor or health care provider about what you can do to keep your bones healthy.
Digestive and Gastrointestinal Disorders
Neurological/Nervous System Disorders
Blood and bone marrow disorders
Other Diseases and Conditions
Note: This list may not include all of the diseases and conditions that may cause bone loss. Talk to your doctor and ask if any of the conditions you have may be causing bone loss.
Medicines that May Cause Bone Loss
Some medicines can be harmful to your bones, even if you need to take them for another condition. Bone loss is usually greater if you take the medication in high doses or for a long time.
It’s important to talk with your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of any medicines you take and about how they may affect your bones, but do not stop any treatment or change the dose of your medicines unless your healthcare provider says it’s safe to do so. If you need to take a medicine that causes bone loss, work with your healthcare provider to determine the lowest possible dose you can take to control your symptoms.
The following medicines may cause bone loss:
Note: This list may not include all medicines that may cause bone loss.
Osteoporosis and Steroid Medicines
While steroid medicines can be lifesaving treatments for some conditions, they can also cause bone loss and osteoporosis. These medicines are often referred to as steroids, glucocorticoids or corticosteroids. They should not be confused with anabolic steroids, which are male hormones that some athletes use to build muscle.
Steroids are much like certain hormones made by your own body. Healthcare providers prescribe them for many conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis (but not osteoarthritis), asthma, Crohn’s disease, lupus and allergies. They are often prescribed to relieve inflammation. They are also used along with other medicines to treat cancer and autoimmune conditions and to support organ transplants. Common steroid medicines are cortisone, dexamethasone (Decadron®), methylprednisolone (Medrol®) and prednisone. Intravenous forms include methylprednisolone sodium succinate (Solu-Medrol®).
Taking steroid medicines as pills in a dose of 5 mg or more for three or more months can increase the chance of bone loss and developing osteoporosis. Talk with your healthcare provider about taking the lowest dose for the shortest period of time for your condition. If you need to take steroid medicines for longer than this, you should take steps to prevent bone loss. While taking steroids, it is especially important to get enough calcium and vitamin D. It’s also important to exercise and not smoke. You may also want to ask your healthcare provider if you need a bone density test.
What Can I Do To Prevent Osteoporosis?
There is a lot you can do throughout your life to prevent osteoporosis, slow its progression and protect yourself from fractures.
Calcium continues to be an essential nutrient after growth because the body loses calcium every day. Even if you have gone through menopause or already have osteoporosis, increasing your intake of calcium and vitamin D can decrease your risk of fracture. Be sure to ask your doctor which form of calcium they recommend. Not all calcium supplements are the same. Increased dosages of calcium does not mean the calcium will be absorbed, so don't be fooled. Calcium Lactate, for example, needs very little stomach acid to be converted to an ionizable form of calcium, which is the only form that will be absorbed.
Vitamin D is important in moving the calcium from your intestinal tract into the blood. Vitamin D supplements should be taken if your diet doesn't contain enough of this essential nutrient. You should look into a bio-active vitamin D3 formula to ensure optimal absorption.
Once calcium is in the blood, how do we get it into the bones? The answer is vitamin K. There is not much talk about vitamin K because many doctors simply do not know that there are three bone proteins dependent on vitamin K for optimal functioning. Rich food sources of vitamin K are kale and brussel sprouts. Vitamin K is very important to help move calcium from the blood into the bone. Since most people today do not eat enough of these special dark green leafy vegetables, it is likely that they are deficient in this essential nutrient. It is now known that the richest source of vitamin K supplementation is from whole foods such as kale and brussel sprouts.
Your bones are not only made of calcium, but consist of many proteins. The main protein being collagen. A simple analogy as to collagen's importance is that of a concrete building. The calcium is like the cement while the collagen acts as reinforcing rods. The combined strength of calcium and collagen, as well as other proteins, form a durable and flexible living tissue. Vitamin C is crucial for optimal collagen (bone protein formation). The recommended vitamin C should be from multiple whole food sources so as to provide not only ascorbic acid, but all the natural vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that are part of a whole food complex.
Microcrystaline hydroxyapatite (MCHC) is obtained from whole bone and is available in supplemental form. In addition to providing calcium, whole bone provides phosphorus, magnesium, and trace minerals such as manganese and zinc. Additional benefits of MCHC are the natural bone proteins and organic factors that are important for optimal bone health.
According To The National Osteoporosis Foundation:
Osteoporosis is a major public health threat for an estimated 44 million Americans, or 55 percent of the people 50 years of age or older. In the U.S., 10 million individuals are estimated to already have the disease and almost 34 million more are estimated to have low bone mass, placing them at increased risk for osteoporosis.
Personal Bone Program:
Dr. Huntoon can help you put together a comprehensive bone plan combining nutrition and exercise. You'll simply have to schedule an appointment and ask Dr. Huntoon to evaluate each of the above nutrients associated with Osteoporosis, and the two of you can come up with a plan to replenish, restore and maintain your bone density, so you are not one of the 40 million destined to face Osteoporosis.
Call the Office at (845)561-BACK (2225) and tell us you'd like to be put in for the Osteoporosis Nutritional Screen. This $ 125.00 value will be offered to you during your next regularly scheduled visit if you ask us to put you in. It requires a little more time, therefore we need you to call the Office and tell us you'd like the Osteoporosis Nutritional Screen. But don't wait! Your Bone Health and Your Overall Health depend on it!
Call the Office today at (845)561-2225 and schedule your Osteoporosis Nutritional Screen. Your bones will thank you.
Click the link for a description of this week's show and a link to the podcast from:
Advanced Alternative Medicine Center
Serving All Your Heath Care Needs ... Naturally!
Dr. Richard A. Huntoon