Women's Health Specialties

 

Healthy Aging & Osteoporosis

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is a gradual reduction in bone mass, causing your bones to become weak and brittle and leading to an increased susceptibility to bone fractures.

As baby boomers age, this condition has become more common and there are more than 3 million new cases of osteoporosis diagnosed every year and an estimated 1.5 million fractures are attributed to osteoporosis alone, or as a side-effect of medication, yearly.

As the population ages, the suffering and healthcare costs associated with osteoporosis increase. Integrative health care can provide a cost effective approach in prevention, as well as treatment, of osteoporosis. A naturopathic treatment approach of prevention utilizes supplements and specific exercise to maximize peak bone mass and reduce the rate of age-related bone loss.

Bones are living tissue and are made of three main components:

  • Collagen: a protein that gives bones a flexible framework
  • Calcium-phosphate mineral complexes:  make bones hard and strong
  • Living bone cells: remove and replace weakened sections of bone.

What Causes Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis occurs when the creation of new bone doesn’t keep up with the breakdown and removal of old bone. The factors that contribute to your risk of osteoporosis can be divided into three main categories:

  1. Age and genetically-related causes:
    Women are more at risk than men to get osteoporosis and the risk increases substantially when women reach the age of 50 and are in menopause. With menopause, the estrogen gradually decreases and, if not managed properly, that can affect bone health, and lead to height loss. Being small, thin and of low body weight, as well as a family history of osteoporosis, contributes to your risk of getting osteoporosis.
  2. Preventable:
    This area reflects the health of your diet. Are you getting enough Calcium and Vitamin D? Eating too much protein, caffeine and sodium, as well as drinking too much alcohol, also affects the health of your bones. Fruits and vegetables are very beneficial for a bone-healthy diet. Lastly lack of weight-bearing exercise and smoking also increase the risk of getting osteoporosis.
  3. Drug induced:
    There are many drugs and medical treatments, which result in bone loss. Prolonged cortico-steroid use, as well some chemotherapies contribute to osteoporosis.

What Can You Do To Prevent Or Reverse Osteoporosis?

Cellular nutrition and bone-jarring exercise=the key to healthy bones. We have a three-pronged approach to treatment of osteoporosis.

EXERCISE, NUTRITION and SUPPLEMENTS

Exercise is a critical component of preventing, reversing and treating osteoporosis.

The most beneficial exercise in regards to osteoporosis strengthens your muscles and makes you sweat. Resistancebands stimulate muscles to pull on the connections to your bone to build density and get stronger. It’s important to build muscles for strong bones!

Comprehensive nutrition is the foundation of our treatment approach for osteoporosis. Making healthy food choices can actually prevent or reduce the bone loss that can cause osteoporosis. Our goal is to increase bone formation, normalize bone deterioration, and to maintain bone health; your bones need to have a foundation of all of the necessary minerals. These foods will help keep your body alkaline and provide phytochemicals and organic minerals that neutralize acid.

As women age, we loose calcium from our bones, and we all know calcium is one of the main components of bones. I don’t think drinking cows milk is the best source of calcium, so recommend other foods and supplements to provide the necessary amount of daily calcium, between 1,000 to 1,200 mg.

CALCIUM FOODS

  • YOGURT: whole milk, local and organic
  • SOY: Soymilk, tofu with calcium, soybeans (edamame) white beans
  • VEGETABLES: bok choy, kale, collard greens, broccoli
  • NUTS:  almonds and almond butter

Vitamin D is an important part of the nutritional protocol necessary to prevent osteoporosis and restore bone health. Vitamin D allows calcium to move from the gastrointestinal tract to the parts of the body that need it — including the bones. While Vitamin D can be made in the body through a reaction of the skin and sunlight, too much sunlight causes skin damage, premature aging, and may lead to skin cancer. Therefore, we recommend taking a Vitamin D supplement. In order to insure your proper dose of Vitamin D, a simple blood test is performed that tells us your current Vitamin D level. We are then able to recommend the correct dose of Vitamin D for your individual needs.

VITAMIN D FOODS

  • Fish: Wild salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring
  • Soymilk
  • Whole milk organic yogurt
  • Egg yolks

BONE-SUPPORTING VITAMINS & MINERALS

  •  Vitamin D3, K2 and C
  •  Magnesium, Zinc, Boron, Vanadium, Silica, Zinc, Copper

My office carries several pharmaceutical-quality calcium products, to provide women with the supplement that  addresses their unique nutritional requirement.