Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis doesn't just happen to us (if we're the unlucky ones), and it is not an evolutionary change.  Osteoporosis is a lifestyle disease.

 

Australians eat a diet that is very heavy in processed and refined foods, which are also acid forming in the body.  As the body must function within a very small pH range in the blood, we have specific homoeostatic mechanisms to ensure that this pH is not compromised.

 

When we eat a diet high in acid forming foods then our body will turn to its natural alkaline buffering minerals (such as calcium in the bones) to correct the pH imbalance.  So if we keep eating a diet high in acid forming foods, then we will literally be breaking down our bones as a result.  For more information on acid - alkaline foods, please click on the 'Wellness' section of this website.

 

People who smoke cigarettes are at high risk of osteoporosis (so that's a very good reason to 'give up') and a number of common medications also decrease your bone density.

 

Many people are also low in vitamin D these days due to the 'slip, slop, slap' message to decrease the risk of sun damage to their skin.  It is very important to ensure that you test your vitamin D levels, at least twice a year (e.g., beginning of May and October) in order to assess your vitamin D level and correct any deficiencies, as this vitamin is extremely important for our bone health.  Please ensure that you don't have a blood test to measure your vitamin D level if you are on a supplement that includes vitamin D (as you'll just be measuring the supplement).  Allow approximately 2-3 weeks after finishing any supplements that include vitamin D before having your blood test.  It's important to eat a diet that is rich in vitamin D at all times of the year.

 

Many people stop exercising as they get older, at a time when exercise is at it's most crucial.  Weight bearing, aerobic and resistance exercise can help to increase your bone density, improve your cardiovascular system, decrease obesity, improve your blood cholesterol levels, lower your blood pressure, decrease your risk of cancer, and improve your metabolic health. 

 

So why do people stop exercising?  Some people think that they're too old to exercise, some people say that pain doesn't allow them to exercise, and others just 'can't be bothered'.  Most older people take medications to deal with their various conditions, and are very reluctant to make the necessary lifestyle changes to decrease their risk of illness and disease.

 

Many people will take a calcium supplement as insurance against osteoporosis, however not all supplements are created equal.  There are various types of calcium supplements, with the type of calcium being very important.  The calcium must  always be accompanied by certain other vitamins and minerals in order to ensure that the supplement can decrease your risk of osteoporosis and not give you kidney stones as a result. A good supplement needs to contain calcium in the form of hydroxyapatite or microcrystalline hydroxyapatite, magnesium, Vit D and Vitamin K, in order to increase bone formation and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

 

Naturopaths have access to some wonderful practitioner only supplements which provide you with the best natural treatment for correcting deficiencies, so please ensure that you have a consultation with a qualified and experienced naturopath before choosing a supplement.

 

Other people may opt for pharmacological medications to decrease their risk of fracture, in cases of diagnosed osteoporisis.  All of these drugs, however, come with side effects, and these may need to be managed with additional medications. 

 

It's not all about taking a drug or a supplement to avoid or treat osteoporosis.  It's also about assessing your lifestyle risks for this disease and making the necessary changes.

 

Osteoporosis is not a disease for the older generation, as younger people in their 40s are also at risk.  You're never too old or too young to make the change, so that you can live well in good health.

 

So follow the 'Book Online'  link at the top of this webpage and book an appointment today.