Osteoporosis

Over the last few years the bone mineral disorder called osteoporosis has generated a lot of attention. This disease is regarded by some to be a natural part of the aging processes at least to some extent. The disorder comes about when bones in the body begin to lose their density-the affected bones lose a lot of minerals and become very brittle as a result, and they can fracture very easily. Scientist estimate that by the time a person reaches seventy years of age, the density of skeletal bones are reduced by about a third of their strength. The name osteoporosis can be literally translated as "porous bones" from the Greek word-ostia-bones and parosis. Women on the whole tend to suffer more cases of this disorder then do men, due to hormonal reasons. It is estimates that at least twenty-five percent of all women who are postmenopausal have some form or other of the disorder.

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Vulnerability of affected bones to breaks and fractures is increased tremendously as osteoporosis affected bones can turn thin and porous over time due to minerals depletion. Specific bones in the body can be affected more by this condition; the bone density loss is greatest and most common from the bones in the spinal column, from the bones in the hips and pelvis, and from the bones in the ribs. Annually costing, at least 3.8 billion dollars to the government and public-some form or other of osteoporosis now affects 15 million people in the United States. In the United States, osteoporosis has been implicated in the approximately 650,000 different fractures which annually affects the population. If certain steps are taken, the good news concerning osteoporosis is that the disorder can be slowed down or even reversed over a period of time with careful treatment.

The sudden decrease in the levels of the female hormone estrogen following the onset of menopause in women, makes many women very vulnerable to the onset of osteoporosis-one of the main duties of estrogen is to maintain the bone mass in the body. A lack of dietary calcium from the food can also cause osteoporosis-the condition can also easily affect all women who have had their ovaries removed via hysterectomy, those suffering from Cushing's syndrome, women who never move about during the day, or those who have undertaken prolonged use of corticosteroid medications. Osteoporosis is also higher in incidence in women who have the habit of smoking and those who have high alcohol consumption. The condition of osteoporosis may also be influenced by hereditary factors and the disorder is more likely to affect a woman who had a mother affected by the disease.

Age plays a crucial factor in increasing the risk of osteoporosis affecting any person. Calcium loss from the bones in the body can be induced by the long term use of certain classes of medications. Some of these drugs are diuretics such as -Furosemide, the blood thinner compound- Heparin, the anti-convulsion drugs, and in particular some of the more potent thyroid medications, like -L, thyroxine.

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The relative risk of developing osteoporosis also increases due to certain factors. Thus osteoporosis is most likely to strike women who regularly consume a lot of alcohol and stimulants like caffeine, those who smoke, those who have never become pregnant, those with a rather fragile skeletal frame and with very fair skin, those who are low in weight, those who have a very sedentary lifestyle. Dietary factors such as very low intakes of the essential mineral calcium from the diet, the practice of a high protein diet, the presence of too much iron in the body, and the presence of some sorts of digestive disorders can also increase the risk of osteoporosis in the woman. A history or the disease in the family and other hereditary factors also add to the risk of being affected by the condition. The onset of early menopause is also a distinct risk factor for osteoporosis.

Susceptibility to osteoporosis is also high for women who already suffer from type 1 or 2 diabetes, those who have chronic pulmonary disease, those already having rheumatoid arthritis and those already affected by Cushing's syndrome.

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Menopause is usually the time for the onset of osteoporosis and the presence of the disorder can go on without eliciting any significant symptoms for a long period of time in the body. A minor fall causing a fracture will often be the first symptom that the disease is affecting the woman-thus osteoporosis is almost always discovered accidentally. The bones just above the wrist and the top of the femur in the thigh is one of the typical sites for the occurrence of these fractures. Curvature of the spinal column over time, a progressive loss of height and fractures in one or several vertebrae can also occur due to long term presence of osteoporosis in a woman.

When osteoporosis affects the spinal column, the compression of the spinal cord can induce chronic pain in the bones. If the bone density loss occurs in the bones of the vertebra then, osteoporosis can produce symptoms such as a backache which chronically affects the person for a long period of time.

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Supplements and herbs

All of the minerals and supplements given here especially the minerals calcium and magnesium are important for the control of osteoporosis symptoms. The importance of the essential minerals magnesium and calcium cannot be overemphasized as it is the loss of these minerals which induces the coming of the disorder-these two minerals are essential for the treatment and the prevention of osteoporosis. To allow for adequate assimilation of calcium supplements into the body, supplements of the minerals magnesium must be done along with calcium. The essential mineral silicon, is also important as a supplements, it eases assimilation of calcium and its easy absorption in the body. Supplements of minerals like the silica, the manganese and the phosphorus are also required. Inefficient utilization of sufficient calcium in the body can also result according to the results given in several studies-this situation can result in other problems for the person. The intake of calcium and its assimilation is significantly helped by the presence of these three minerals-silica, manganese and phosphorus-their presence allows faster calcium intake into the bones and the supplementation of these three minerals is especially important if the fracture has already affected the person. Two minerals boron and copper also aid the body in improving the digestive uptake of the calcium. These two minerals are also found as trace minerals in bone and they must be taken as supplements by all women suffering from osteoporosis. Supplements of the mineral sulfur are also essential during osteoporosis. The presence of this mineral aids in the absorption of the mineral calcium and the presence of adequate levels of sulfur is important for the strength of bones and connective tissues. Supplements of the essential mineral zinc must also be taken by all patients on a very regular basis. The presence of zinc in the body plays a very vital role in the calcium assimilation and absorption rates.

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Supplements of the seaweed kelp is a very good source of many essential minerals which are required by the bones for proper health and strength. Supplements of the vital nutrient the vitamin C can also be taken by all osteoporosis patients, the presence of this vitamin aids in ensuring the absorption of collagen and improves the strength of connective tissues. Collagen tissues are stabilized by the presence of bioflavonoids in the diet; these substances are excellent for all women, as the major protein found in bone is collagen. Supplements of the essential vitamin D can also aid the body in increasing and stimulating the absorption of calcium. Supplements should also include the vitamin B6, the folic acid and the vitamin B12, if these particular vitamins are deficient in the body, and then a lot of problems can result particularly when it concerns elderly people. The absence of these vitamins can bring about a rise in levels of the chemical homocysteine, a factor which can greatly contribute to the full development of osteoporosis in the body of the individual. The presence of the vitamin K is also vital to holding calcium within the bones of the skeletal system. Supplements of herbal alfalfa, which is a herb having a high content of calcium and vitamin K is also necessary. The herbal supplement known as the feverfew, has a high content of the minerals silicon and zinc and is essential for relieving pain in the body of the individual. The herbal remedy made from the feverfew must not be used by pregnant women as it can have side effects. Herbal remedies made from the horsetail herb also have very high silica content as well as being rich in the manganese mineral which is required for active calcium uptake and the healing of fractures. Herbal remedies which are also required include oat straw, which also contains high amounts of the essential mineral silica necessary for the proper assimilation of calcium into the bones.

Homeopathy

All of the following homeopathic remedies can be used to alleviate the symptoms of osteoporosis in women; however, they will not reverse the existing bone density loss. Their importance lies in their ability to bring the body into a better balance and help it in efficient use of minerals and nutrients. The use of the given homeopathic remedies can also prove beneficial in alleviating aching bones and in helping prevent the occurrence of fractures or breaks.

  • Calcarea carb.
    Calcarea carb. is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of women affected by osteoporosis. The physical symptoms experienced by such individuals can include becoming easily tired by any physical exertion; the patient may also have a tendency to feel very anxious at odd times and can become overwhelmed from working too hard or from too much stress in the body. The symptoms felt by the person can include the passage of chills up and down the body, the woman may become very flabby and may be overweight, and the symptoms typically worsen from exposure to cold and dampness. The other physical symptoms likely to be encountered include the presence of back pain, swelling in the joints, and the presence of sweats in the head at night. Women affected by this condition, also often develop very strong and intense cravings for both foods that are rich in eggs and in sweets. The presence of one or more of these symptoms requires the immediate use of Calcarea carb. as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the osteoporosis.
  • Calcarea phos.
    Calcarea phos. is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of women suffering from osteoporosis. Physical symptoms felt by the person can include the presence of great stiffness in the body, coupled with soreness, and physical weakness in the bones and in the joints of the body. The other physical symptoms can include the presence of ache in the bones of the neck, in the bones of the upper back, and in the bones of the hips-these symptoms can cause a lot of discomfort to the individual affected by the disorder. Woman also complain of very deep physical tiredness which comes on frequently, particularly following physical exercises. The other physical symptoms likely to occur include the formation of calcium deposits and bone spurs in the body, these symptoms can occur even when the general bone density loss is occurring, and many of the fractures are very slow in healing and the recovery process takes a very long time to complete. Psychological symptoms exhibited by patients can also include persistent feelings of dissatisfaction and such women also typically possess a very strong desire for travel and want a rapid change in their circumstances. The presence of one or more of these symptoms requires the immediate use of Calcarea phosphorica as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the osteoporosis.
  • Phosphorus
    Phosphorus is to be used as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of women affected by osteoporosis. The physical symptoms seen in such women can include extreme emotional sensitivity, they tend to be very suggestible, and the person may also be a very imaginative individual. Physical symptoms can include becoming easily tired or physical weakening from limited exercise. The strength of the bones may be very low and much less than what is normal, fractures are very slow in healing and the fractures tend to plague the person. Spinal column weakness is also often present, the patients may also complain of the presence of a deep and burning pain in the area of the body between the shoulder blades. The individual affected by this disorder are often very tall and thin and have a tendency to become very easily flushed in the face. The person may also develop a great desire to eat a lot of refreshing foods-particularly ice cream and the presence of a strong thirst for cold or carbonated drinks is also seen in such women. The presence of one or more of these symptoms requires the immediate use of Phosphorus as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the osteoporosis.
  • Silicea
    Silicea is to be used in the homeopathic treatment of women affected by osteoporosis. The physical symptoms affecting such individuals can include the presence of extreme and persistent nervousness, the woman can become easily tired even from limited physical exertion, and the woman may also have chills passing up and down the body, and has a tendency of developing night sweats. Such women tend to have a very refined or delicate appearance in the body, and they are also often affected by physical weakness in the spinal column. Slow healing injuries and fractures also plague such people and they show a tendency to have very low resistance to the onset of infection. The affected woman is also often benefited by undertaking moderate exercises, which can warm up the body up and makes her feel much more energetic. The presence of one or more of these symptoms requires the immediate use of Silicea as a homeopathic remedy in the treatment of the osteoporosis.

Additional things you may do

All women affected by osteoporosis must stop smoking if they have the habit of doing so, they must limit the consumption of alcohol and they should limit consumption of caffeine as well. The bone density loss is increased and promoted by all three of these activities and limiting these habits can have a profound and beneficial effect on the health of the individual. Avoid accidental falls by taking precautions as healing process of bones is not good when osteoporosis is present in the body-the chances for accidents must be minimized. In the house, try to remove all possible hazards such as very loose rugs or hazard electrical wiring in the houses-you can easily trip on these and they must be removed. Avoid accidental bumps into hard objects around the house; keeping the house well lit at night is a very good idea. The use of a cane is also suggested, if needed, as this will help prevent accidental falls and needless fractures in the bones. Furniture can be used to help you stay erect when you are standing and this measure will limit the chances of accidental falls. To prevent injury and stress to the bones of the feet, you should use shoes with cushioned soles-such shoes will also limit trauma to the bone of the legs and the hips. Try not to twist the body when picking objects from off the floor. Sudden motions and twists can increase the chances of fractures-all patients affected by osteoporosis must avoid such motions.

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