What is osteoporosis? Is it a “normal” part of aging?
Osteoporosis is a decrease in bone mass and density that occurs when the body does not generate enough new bone to compensate for the natural breakdown of old bone. Risk of falls and fractures increase, often leaving the elderly bedridden.
Osteoporosis is not a necessary part of aging! Plenty of elderly people do not suffer from osteoporosis.
Does the bone change? Yes, it does. Normal bone structure has the appearance of a honeycomb, thick on the outside with a strong mesh on the inside. With osteoporosis, the holes between the mesh become larger, weakening the entire bone structure.
Upon weakening, the vertebrae (the bones of the spine) lose height and become concave in appearance. You can’t “feel” the development of osteoporosis. If undetected, it remains hidden and can lead to or exacerbate other health problems.
Let’s look at the story of JASMINE, J. The Neighbors called her “The Road Runner”!
At age 38, She was a true “supermom”. An active, working mother of two children, caring for her entire family. But Pauline suffered from several unexplained health issues:
* Stomach and bowel troubles
* Bladder problems, for which she later had bladder repair surgery
* An inability to absorb calcium from her food
* Chronic aches and pains in her joints
* Chronic fatigue
Needing relief, she began to take NSAIDS for her joint pain. NSAIDS are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Motrin®, Advil® and Celebrex®.
NSAIDS can have dangerous side effects. The most serious reported include kidney failure, liver failure, ulcers, and prolonged bleeding after an injury or surgery. The common effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, decreased appetite, rash, dizziness, headache, drowsiness, and fluid retention.
Despite the NSAIDS, Pauline’s aches and pains persisted…because she had developed ulcers.
At age 60, she was diagnosed by her medical doctor with celiac disease, a disease of the small intestine. Still suffering from sore joints and muscles, she sought the help of a chiropractor. Upon taking a spinal x-ray, guess what the chiropractor found?
Severe osteoarthritis, a condition in which spinal discs have degenerated and bone spurs has developed… And scoliosis, a condition in which the spine curves to the side, throwing the body out of balance and compressing the ribcage.
Her conditions went undetected for years! This now explained why, she suffered a compression fracture in her thoracic spine, daily pain and loss of mobility had ensued, and walking became so difficult that she needed a walker, cane, and wheelchair.
Could Her ulcers and celiac disease have been related to her osteoporosis?
Yes! Your digestive system is controlled via messages sent from your brain, through your nerves and to your digestive organs. Your Vagus Nerve travels from your neck all the way down to your stomach!
Remember the earlier osteoporosis x-ray? The vertebrae are clearly misaligned. This places pressure upon spinal nerves because the nerves emerge from openings between vertebrae.
THE 7 Keys to Prevent Osteoporosis
Key #1: Get your daily recommended amount of calcium
According to the American Bone Health Organization, the daily calcium RDA is:
* children and teenagers: 1200 milligrams (mg)
* premenopausal women: 800 mg
* peri or postmenopausal women: 1500 mg
* men under age 50: 800 mg
* men over age 50: 1500 mg
Now… have you ever wondered if all calcium-rich foods are just as helpful ? Despite the television advertisements, magazine ads, posters and literature, milk is not the best source of calcium. Cow’s milk is rich in phosphorous, a mineral that can combine with calcium and prevent you from absorbing it. Milk protein speeds the rate at which calcium is removed from the blood.
Better sources of calcium, with higher calcium absorption rates, include:
* Kale and other dark leafy greens other than spinach (because of the oxalate content)
* Sea vegetables
* Ground sesame seeds
Key #2: Get your daily recommended amount of Vitamin D
Your body needs a daily dose of vitamin D to help your it absorb and utilize calcium. Your body makes its own Vitamin D when exposed to natural sunlight. However, most people don’t receive enough sun, or avoid it for skin-protection purposes.
How much daily Vitamin D do you need? The International Osteoporosis Foundation states you’ll probably need at least 1,000 IU per day if you’re overweight, do not get much sun, use sunscreen, or have dark skin. It’s a highly individualized number and can only be determined by a Vitamin D test.
Foods or supplements containing the D3 form (cholecalciferol) have a more significant effect than those with the D2 form (ergocalciferol).
Key #3: Engage in regular weight bearing exercise
A weight bearing exercise is one performed while on your feet and legs, working your muscles and bones against gravity. The bone adapts to the impact and pull by building more bone cells. Types of weight bearing exercise include:
* Fast walking (hand weights give more resistance)
* Jogging or running on a soft surface
* Jumping jacks
* Step aerobics
Key #4: Avoid smoking
Female smokers may have significantly lower bone mass because nicotine inhibits estrogen. Male smokers are also at risk because smoking affects the production of bone cells. Smokers take longer to heal from broken bones and surgeries because smokers’ oxygen levels are reduced. Oxygen is carried by the blood and is needed for healing.
Key #5: Avoid excessive alcohol
* Increases parathyroid hormone levels, which reduce the body’s calcium reserves
* Interferes with the production of Vitamin D
* Causes hormone deficiencies in men and women
* This can rise cortisol levels, which decrease bone formation and increase bone breakdown
Key #6: Have your bone density tested and medications reviewed
Bone-density tests determine whether you have osteoporosis or are at risk. Your healthcare provider will decide your frequency of testing. Know your risk of breaking a bone before the fact!
If you’ve been taking prescription medications, ask your medical doctor if they’re necessary. Be sure to check all expiration dates.
Your body was born with an amazing capability to heal itself naturally, and it deserves a chance! Unless a medical emergency or deemed unavoidable, medication should not be your first line of defense.
Key #7: Ensure the proper function of your nervous system
Your nervous system will not function correctly when affected by stress. Pressure placed upon nerves by spinal misalignments is a significant stress! The pressure results because nerves emerge from small holes between vertebrae.
Not only does this affect the regeneration of your bone cells, but it affects the function of your entire body, because your nervous system controls every cell, muscle, organ, and bodily process.
A misaligned vertebra resulting in pressure upon a spinal nerve is called a vertebral subluxation.
If you already have or are developing osteoporosis, or if you’ve experienced a fall or fracture, do you think your spine may be misaligned? You bet!
Now… do you assume the healthier choices in life are also the more expensive choices?