Osteoporosis is a frightening disease in which the rate of bone loss accelerates while the rate of making new bone tissue slows down. During this process the bones become porous, brittle, and susceptible to fracture due to lack of new bone tissue replacing the old.
The United States has the highest rates of osteoporotic fractures in the world, with over 1.5 million people over 45 years of age experiencing bone fractures associated with osteoporosis each year. These fractures occur mainly in the vertebral column, wrist, and hip, and can become extremely debilitating, with 20% of hip fractures in older people resulting in death within a year.
Although this disease is found commonly in women and men, women in the post menopausal stage are at the most risk, with a third of that demographic currently dealing with osteoporosis. Fortunately, if you know the causes, warning signs, and natural remedies for osteoporosis, you can potentially avoid or alleviate this life compromising condition.
Causes of osteoporosis
If you have read any conventional wisdom, you’ll see that osteoporosis is mostly chalked up to ageing. In actuality, the major causes of osteoporosis is due to our disease accelerating lifestyles we lead in Western civilizations. In fact, the highest osteoporosis rates are found in the most prosperous and technologically advanced societies, with the lowest typically found in poorer, less technologically advanced regions. The fact of the matter is that our bones were designed to last a lifetime, and that includes after menopause.
So even though menopause is a factor in bone loss due to a withdrawal of progesterone (a hormone that stimulates bone formation by activating osteoblast-mediated mineralization of bone), it is typically a number of other lifestyle factors that are the major contributors to osteoporosis. These factors include:
- Lack of sun exposure or vitamin D
- Lack of exercise
- A diet largely rooted in processed foods
- Regular consumption of soft drinks
- Consistent coffee consumption (1 or more a day)
- Cigarette smoking
- Use of conventional prescription drugs
- High alcohol intake
- Fluoride exposure (water, toothpaste, dental cleaning)
- Lack of minerals in diet
- Lack of “greens” consumption
- Excess protein consumption
- High sodium diet
- Heavy metal exposure (pollution, metal fillings, vaccines, tuna)
Decades of exposure to these factors are surely the reason why so many suffer from osteoporosis, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can avoid and alleviate full-blown osteoporosis, if you know the signs and natural remedies to reverse it.
Warning signs of osteoporosis
Like any other disease your body provides “subtle” clues for impending illness, and osteoporosis is no different. If you are experiencing one or more of these issues, you are likely already suffering from significant bone loss:
- Height loss
- Tooth loss or periodontal disease
- Brittle fingernails
- Transparent skin
- Leg cramps at night
- Joint pain
- Insomnia and restless behaviour
If you haven’t fractured or broken any bones yet, note these red flags and start putting your plans in place to avoid a collision course with osteoporosis.
Natural remedies for osteoporosis
The good news is, whatever the body can create it can eliminate. Your first important step would be to largely eliminate all the causes of osteoporosis mentioned earlier, and add in the appropriate nourishment and lifestyle factors to rebuild your bone structure.
One of the first things you need to do that will make the biggest difference is adjust your diet to one that absolutely minimizes your intake of processed foods, and ramps up your consumption of organic, fresh, and local whole foods with an emphasis on vegetables. Foods to consider that are full of vitamins, minerals, and other co-factors that will maximize nutrient assimilation include:
- Leafy green vegetables
- Beans (soaked)
- Milk kefir
- Pumpkin seeds (soaked)
- Chia seeds (soaked)
- Hemp seeds
- Sesame seeds (soaked)
- Almonds (soaked)
- Bone broth
- Fermented vegetables
- Wild caught salmon
In addition to these foods, some herbs that help restore bone health include:
- Horsetail (take as a daily tea)
- Dandelion root
To increase digestive capacity so you can maximize your nutrient absorption (poor absorption is common and a major reason of nutrient deficiency), you will also want to strongly consider enzymes, HCL, minerals, and liver tonics.
In addition to these recommendations consider exercising 30 minutes daily and three times a week, using resistance exercises to tone and strengthen muscles without too much torque on your joints.
Sources for this article include:
Alternative Medicine – The Definitive Guide. Larry Trivieri Jr. and John W. Anderson. 2002.