Sally Field, actress, two time Oscar winner and now spokesperson for Osteoporosis. She has been on magazine covers all over, on television, talk shows and even congress to make the public aware of osteoporosis.
Currently she has her own website for bone health called “Rally With Sally For Bone Health”. As she had stated on her site osteoporosis was not even remotely close in her mind, she always had a healthy diet, exercised and stayed active. However, a test taken had indicated she was losing bone density quickly. Her physician inform her she could take a medication to strengthen her bones. Ms. Fields is currently advocating persons to talk with their healthcare practitioner if they have osteoporosis and medicine can help. Women wait to long before they seek help and end up with a greater chance of breaking a bone.
Ms. Field does promote the medication Boniva all over in the public eye and to no surprise her site is sponsored by the pharmaceutical company which manufactures the drug.
Osteoporosis does in fact increase a persons chances for fractures and fractures can have some very serious outcomes. However, along with the positive side of the medications for osteoporosis there is also the negative aspect of these drugs. Good news is there are prescription free ways that are natural therapies to aide in bone strengthening.
A little bone loss cannot be avoided
Our bones in our bodies is just like other things in our bodies like tissues that get restructured from time to time. There are cells referred to osteoblasts which make new bones while the cells osteoclasts break down the old bones and get rid of them. It seems like a good balance. Just like pro and con or negative to positive. This theory is great until persons hit their mid thirties. This is when we lose more bone than new bone is being produced. In span of time the outcome gives us more weaker and fragile bones.
In order to estimate bone loss, the bone mineral density (BMD) gets tested with X-rays, ultrasound or CT scans which measures how much calcium and minerals are in the bones. This provides a T-score. That score is compared to a healthy thirty year old score. Lower scores equals less bone density. Now what happens is that those health care practitioners will be there helping you with this issue however, it usually consists of prescription pad in hand.
Has everyone gone cuckoo over drugs
Boniva in which has been blasted all over the place lately, is a biphosphonate that works by stopping the osteoclasts from breaking down and resorbing bone. Medications in this classification include Fosamax, Actonel and Reclast. Boniva’s only popularity source is you just have to take the pill once a month.
Unfortunately, these medications have several side effects. Such as esophageal irritation and ulceration, bone and muscle pain, and not commonly occurring serious eye inflammation. Intravenous Fosamax is associated with an awful condition called ostconecrosis of the jaw that ends in deterioration of the jaw and elimination of jaw bone. Fosamax also increases the chances of arterial fibrillation by a rate of 86%. In June 2008, a study had shown that long term use of this drug does heighten the chances of stress fractures in leg bones.
How hazardous and inferior are they?
Dr. James Abramson, professor at Harvard and author of “Overdosed America”, investigated clinical studies endorsing these medications and discovered some alarming data. Here is one example of a find: in JAMA a study which had been published discovered that a woman who had taken Fosamax for her osteoporosis had major decreases in the associated chances of hip fracture. Women who were at high risk which had taken the medication for four years had 56% less risk in comparison to the control group which received no medications.
However, at closer examination of the findings it had shown that the women who were not treated also had a very low chance for fracture just a rate of 0.5% each year. These odds are extremely low. The women who received Fosamax had 0.2% risk, basically 56% less chance of risk. Overall, what it translates to is the odds each year of not getting a hip fracture had improved from 99.5 to 99.8. Dr. Abramson states the end result is 81 women with osteoporosis would have to take Fosamax for 4.2 years, which equals $300,000 dollars just to stop one hip fracture.
Final results in women with osteopenia (pre-osteoprosis) had shown the medication had in reality heighten the risk of hip fractures by 84% and risk fractures by 50%.
Dr. Abraham gave his explanation that osteoporosis medications add to the density in the hard outer layer called cortical bone. However, they do very little to increase the internal structure of trabecular bone in the hips, wrist and spine. Tubercular bone has greater activity than cortical bone and is the first to leave when bone is lost. One the supporting internal structure is jeopardized, the new bone growth activated by the medications is mainly on the outer cortical bone. Even with bone density improving the risks of fractures may not improve.
Good News: Alternative Options
Alternative options are readily available to help treat osteoporosis and even aide in prevention with no medications which can yield numerous side effects.
DHEA is a natural processor to testosterone and progesterone and other steroid hormones. In supplement form when taken it gives a wide variety of benefits. In a current study researchers had demonstrated when giving 50mg of DHEA each day for one year to women 55 and older. It had raised the blood levels of the bone making hormones and improved markers on bone turnover of BMD of lumbar spine.
Other benefits in studies had also indicated that persons with SLE in 50 to 200 mg taken daily can show benefits. It also can aide in lowering overall body fat. In elderly women with depression it can increase DHEA levels. It has improved bone mineral loss and increased testosterone an estrogen in women.
Productive Pair Calcium and Vitamin D
We all are aware that calcium and Vitamin D helps guard against bone loss. Calcium is the most plentiful mineral in the bones, for it provides the strength. Vitamin D is needed to precisely absorb calcium in the gut and for the bones to restore minerals and restructure. Multitudes of studies have shown that when taken together they improve BMD and risk of fractures.
Calcium in the amounts of 1,000 to 1,500 each day through food and supplements. Vitamin D IU level each day should be 2,000 and the average blood level of Vitamin D should be 40 to 60ng/ml.
Additional Foods and Nutrients
There is no doubt that calcium and vitamin D are essential for bone health. However, there are other foods and nutrients that are just as vital.
Appropriate amounts are vital when we are older to preserve our bone mass. Without the adequate amounts we are at higher risk for hip fractures and risks for falling. Foods such as lean red meat, poultry and fish along with eggs and dairy foods are an excellent source of animal protein. Dairy foods give extra benefits for the are an abundant source of calcium while the fish gives the oil for vitamin D. Nuts, tofu, kidney beans, and seeds are also good to supply protein.
Fruits and Veggies
It was revealed in two recent studies that Americans are not getting enough fruit and vegetables in their daily diet.
Fruits and vegetables carry the entire spectrum of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and alkaline salt. Some of these or even all provide benefits on the effects of bones. Studies have displayed that the higher fruit and vegetable consumption is linked with beneficial results for bone density in older men and women.
More Need Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamin K is required for appropriate minerals in the bones. Low amounts of vitamin K can lead to low bone density and greater chances for fractures. It just may aide in the prevention of osteoporosis. Vitamin K can be found in green leafy vegetables like lettuce and also in liver, soybean products and some fermented cheese.
Magnesium forms bone minerals. Older persons can be at risk of magnesium deficiency due to the fact as the absorbing of magnesium lessens, renal excretion goes up. Some medications can cause the loss of magnesium through the urine. Green vegetables, nuts, seeds and fish can give you magnesium.
Zinc is need to renew bone tissue and minerals. Lean red meats, poultry and whole grain cereals are among the foods that can provide zinc in your diet
Vitamins B6, B12 and folic acids’ aide in part by altering homocysteine into amino acid for the body to use and it is likely they can aide in the prevention of osteoporosis.
Other foods and herbs that promote bone health include pepper which has four anti-osteoporosis compounds. Garlic and onions contain sulfur to aide in healthy bones and connecting tissues.
Bring on the exercise
Important and necessary to good bone health is exercise. Walking or power walking is fantastic at helping to guard against bone loss. However, bones just simply react well to the stress of weights.
Everyone can benefit from exercises but it is essentially vital as the years go on. Even who have gone through menopause can receive benefits. Exercises help prevent osteoporosis increase bone and joint health not to mention the added extras of keeping proper posture, muscle tone increase, aides in your daily routines so they are easier to accomplish along with providing relief for the daily aches or pains we feel as we become older.
For prevention the highly recommended exercises are flexibility, strength training and weight bearing.
Flexibility exercises such as yoga and Tia Chi. Strength training and weight lifting along with weight bearing aerobics. Jogging, dancing and swimming are also great exercises in the prevention and aide in osteoporosis.
It is very important to remember when we are children this is when the bones grow quickly. So it is imperative to make sure they get the correct nutrients and encouragement to exercise. Did you know that greater than half a woman’s bone mass is accumulated in adolescents and exercises such as above will aide in the prevention of osteoporosis later on in adult life.Sources:
I Of Bone Health