We’ve all heard of osteoporosis. It brings to mind images of old people with humped backs and broken hips. We wonder how that could happen. Is it just part of growing old? Or is there a way to prevent it from occurring? If you take the proper steps, the answer is yes; you can actually increase bone density and return your bones to full health.
WHAT CAUSES OSTEOPOROSIS
Before we can understand the cause of osteoporosis (weak bones) we need to explore how the bones function in the body. Bones are living tissue that must constantly be rebuilt. This is done by a two part process. In the first step cells called osteoclasts clear old minerals out of weakened bone tissue and carry them into the bloodstream where they are filtered and disposed of. Next, cells called osteoblasts deposit new minerals and collagen back into the bone. A hormone called PTH signals the osteoclasts to pull the calcium from the bones and another hormone called calcitonin stimulates the osteoblasts to deposit calcium into the bones.
Now that we know the basic process we can explore what happens when everything doesn’t work correctly.
- Magnesium Deficiency
Magnesium suppresses the hormone that tells your body to pull calcium from the bones, and stimulates the hormone that tells the body to put calcium back into the bones. The hormone calcitonin relies on magnesium to function properly. When we lack magnesium, the balance between PHT and calcitonin tilts too far toward PTH, causing an over stimulation of ostioclasts; causing net bone loss.
- Excess Acidity
A diet consisting of too many acid foods like bread, grains, meat, soft drinks and pasta, but lacking in fruits and vegetables causes acidity. To function properly, our blood must remain a neutral PH, so the body pulls calcium from the bones to neutralize any acidivity. This is a major factor in the development of osteoporsis.
- Imbalance of Cortisol and DHEA
Cortisol is produced when there is stress. DHEA balances the cortisol. When there isn’t enough DHEA, cortisol pulls calcium from the bones to compensate. Also if you are generally low in hormones, as many women are after menopause, the result will be a loss of bone density.
- Commercial Medications
The way some drugs on the market work is by killing off osteoclasts. If you recall, osteoclasts are the cells that carry old minerals out of the bones. The result is a denser bone with high amounts of old, poor quality bone cells, making them weaker and more brittle. Other medications block the absorption of calcium into the bones and all drugs have side effects at varying degrees.
Things You Can Do Right Now To Reverse and Prevent Osteoporosi
1. Stop Drinking Soft Drinks
Soft drinks contain high amounts of phosphoric acid and sugar making them very acidic. Calcium is pulled out of the body to neutralize that acid, which lowers blood calcium levels. Then, to remedy this, parathyroid glands restore calcium to the blood by pulling it out of the bones. It becomes a vicious cycle.
2. Eat a Balanced Diet
Meats and carbohydrates are also highly acidic. With the addition of lots of fresh fruits and vegetables you can stabilize the acid without pulling calcium from our bones.
3. Stop Excess Milk Consumption
Milk and dairy products have ten times more calcium than magnesium. If you drink a lot of milk, supplement you diet with extra magnesium. It’s all about balance
4. Increase Your Magnesium Intake.
Whether you drink milk or not you probably need more magnesium. Americans are overwhelmingly magnesium deficient and it is showing up in nationwide statistics of osteoporosis, as well as other diseases.
5. Reduce Stress
There are numerous ways to reduce stress: meditation, prayer, and yoga to name a few.
Exercise is very important to increasing your bone density. There are numerous other health benefits as well. Start with walking a short distance three days a week. Then find fun ways to get your body moving.
- A good multi mineral
- B-Complex: 100 mg daily
- Vitamin A: 5,000 I.U. daily
- Vitamin E: 400 I.U. daily
- Essential amino acids: 1 tbsp daily
- A good multi vitamin
- Glucosamine sulfate: 300 to 1500 mg daily
- Chondroitin sulfate: 200 to 1000 mg daily
- Fish or flaxseed oil: 2 grams daily
As you can see, by making a few lifestyle changes you can prevent, and reverse even advanced stages of osteoporosis.