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Natural Support for Osteopenia and Osteoporosis

Natural Remedies for the Symptoms of Osteoporosis

     Osteoporosis is a condition where the density of the bone decreases and the risk of bone fracture increases. Typical locations are the vertebrae and hips. It is considered to be a disease that affects our aging population and occurs more often in women than in men. The causes of osteoporosis may be a poor diet, an acidic body terrain, drug treatments (steroids, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, diuretics and antacids), a genetic predisposition, excessive alcohol intake, inactivity and a thin body frame.

     Being a thin body frame is usually a hereditary issue and taking care of one self nutritionally will help provide the best outcome. Daily exercise of daily brisk walking with some resistance or weight training a few times per week will prove helpful to build bone. Medications may be discussed with one’s doctor should they cause of osteoporosis. Ideally a doctor will provide medication alternatives or work alongside a natural health professional to reduce a medication and introduce a non-toxic alternative.

      Medical doctors typically recommend drug treatments for osteoporosis such as Actonel or Fosamax. These types of medications prevent the natural cycle of breaking down bones. Our body builds up and breaks down bone in cycles, similar to our hair growth. Many doctors recommend patients take one popular, inexpensive brand of calcium carbonate. This type of calcium is not well absorbed and may put one at risk for the formation of calcium oxalate kidney stones. More highly absorbable forms of calcium are calcium hydroxyapatite and then calcium citrate. Calcium should be given in a ratio of two parts calcium to one part magnesium to help with absorption. As well some bone formulas also contain strontium, vitamin K2, vitamin D, manganese and boron to increase bone density.

     As people age, they do not make as many digestive enzymes and stomach acid. Both are required to absorb nutrients and minerals that may help keep bones healthy. Malabsorption puts people at risk for osteoporosis and other nutritional deficiencies such as anemia and low vitamin B12 levels. Supplementation with a digestive enzyme, with or without hydrochloric acid, may be beneficial. It is important to not take hydrochloric acid if someone is not low in it, because it can cause burning and discomfort. Other digestive issues such as food allergies are linked to osteoporosis. Food allergies and sensitivities like celiac disease, gluten and lactose intolerance cause problems with poor absorption and digestion. Celiac disease actually damages the  microvilli in the intestinal wall, where nutrients are typically absorbed.

     Diet plays a huge role in health in general and bone density is no different. Interestingly according to the book, “Nutritional Medicine” by Alan R. Gaby M.D., an interesting study found that rats who were fed a high sugar diet developed osteoporosis. An observational study of men and women found that those who ate the largest amounts of candy had the lowest bone density. Sugar may lead to bone loss because it is devoid of nutrition and it increases urinary calcium excretion. This also is linked to the formation of calcium oxalate kidney stones. Those with kidney stones have lower bone density than the general public. Lastly large quantities of sugar increase blood cortisol levels, a hormone known to cause bone loss.    

     Some drinks linked to osteoporosis are colas, tea, coffee and caffeine. Caffeine in general increases the excretion of calcium and magnesium through the urine. Thus calcium supplementation may be protective for bones against a high caffeine intake. A low dietary protein intake increases ones risk of osteoporosis. Lacto Ovo vegetarians have the same risk of osteoporosis as omnivores do[i], however, vegans have a higher risk of low bone density but it is unclear whether it is due to a lack of calcium or other minerals.[ii]

     Another factor that may lead to bone loss is heavy metal toxicity. Some studies have shown that high levels of aluminum and lead are linked to osteoporosis. These toxic minerals are in our environment and some people retain them more than they should. Exposure can also happen in smokers, those working in an industrial environment and those with a compromised liver.

      Homeopathy is a system of medicine that is often misunderstood by the general public and medical community. Homeopathic remedies are prescribed by matching a person’s individual symptoms to a remedy that has those same symptoms when taken in a crude dose. Homeopathy in Latin means “like cures like”. Homeopathic remedies are typically made from plant, animal or mineral matter like red onion, bee venom or carbonate of lime for example. The remedies are prepared in a manner that makes them diluted and a nanoparticle medicine. Thus any potency over a 6CH has no side effects. When the right remedy is matched to a person’s unique symptom picture, it stimulates one’s natural healing mechanism to recognize abnormal symptoms and proceed to heal them. If a homeopathic remedy is not matched well, it will have no action at all. Homeopathy is safe for babies, adults, seniors and even pets.

     The beauty of homeopathy is that the right remedy can stimulate a person to heal deeply. In chronic disease, healing will require different homeopathic remedies as a person goes through various stages of healing. In an acute disease, like a sore throat or ear ache, often times one homeopathic remedy will suit the entire case.

     Herein a few common homeopathic remedies are highlighted to show how homeopathy is suited to a person’s unique symptom picture rather than a disease name:

Calcarea Carb types tend to be heavy set people. They are chilly and like the warmth. They tend to have cold and clammy feet. They are easily out of breath, feel weak and jaded from overwork. They tend to easily strain their muscles and joints. They have osteoporosis and tend to gall and kidney stones.

Calc Phos is suited to a type similar to calcarea carb but these types are usually lean. They love smoked meats like bacon. They tend to have osteoporosis, spinal curvatures and poor union of fractures. These types may also suffer from arthritis and rheumatism where drafts cause pain. Cold aggravates. They feel better in warm weather, hot summer day and worse in cold and damp weather.

Phosphorus is a remedy suited to thin tall people. It can be linked to osteoporosis of the spine, upper jaw and bones in general. They may feel weak in their joints and tend to easy sprains on exertion. They are like a human barometer, sensitive to changes in the atmosphere, thunderstorms and lightning. They are susceptible to external impressions such as lights, sounds, touch, odors and so on. They tend to crave ice, cold drinks and food.

Silicea is a remedy that is suited to people who may tend to easy exhaustion and poor absorption. They tend to have diseases of the bones and cartilage such as decay, necrosis and softening of the bones. They may also suffer from bunion growths. This is a remedy that helps with spinal injuries and parts that are laid on tend to go to sleep. Silicea types are cold people, they feel worse in the winter and worse for drafts. Suffer from curvature of the spine, kyphosis (hunch back) and decay of the vertebrae. The bones in the spine are greatly affected, pain in the vertebrae, coccyx and lumbar region. They may have a stiff neck with headaches.

     Homeopathic remedies can be purchased at your local health food store, the typical potency is a 6X or 30CH. The dosing depends on the case however, most often a remedy for osteoporosis may be administered at least a few times a week, under the tongue and in between meals.

     Osteoporosis is a multi-factorial disease that needs individualized attention. The path to healing is not always a straight line and in chronic disease usually more than one remedy and modality is needed. People can benefit from a variety of approaches such as screening for nutritional deficiencies, addressing drug side effects, improving diet and applying the correct homeopathic remedy.

     Heather Caruso is a best selling author, registered homeopath and orthomolecular health practitioner. She has been in private practice for the past 20 years in Guelph Ontario. www.carusohomeopathy.com

 

[i] https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article-abstract/37/3/453/4690736?sid=9d6d6d9f-e3b8-4621-bfb9-b038eb6eebee

[ii] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16942519