How to Prevent Osteoporosis Naturally
I’ve been 5’9″ my whole adult life, since age 18, at least. It says so on my drivers license. When asked, “how tall are you?”, my response is always, “5’9″”. So, needless to say I was shocked a few years ago when the MA at my doctor’s office told me I measured at 5’7″. I, naturally, assumed she didn’t know what she was doing and took my measurement incorrectly. I continued on with the notion that I was 5’9″; I’d always been 5’9″. Well, when I returned to the doctor’s office for a follow up visit, I was escorted back by a different MA who also measured me at 5’7″. What the…! Was it possible that two different MA’s from the same office didn’t know how to measure a human being? Doubtful. Two inches! Somewhere, somehow, I had lost two whole inches! This was an early sign of bone loss, or osteopenia, which is can lead to osteoporosis. I knew I needed to take action immediately, and I needed to find out HOW TO PREVENT OSTEOPOROSIS NATURALLY.
What is Osteoporosis?
As osteopenia progresses to osteoporosis, the bones become increasingly porous, brittle and can easily be fractured. The National Institutes of Health Consensus Conference defined osteoporosis as “a disease of increased skeletal fragility, accompanied by low bone density and micro-architecture deterioration”. Osteoporosis is a potentially fatal disease, largely due to complications that arise after a hip fracture. Between 18 and 33% of American women ranging in age from 65 to 90, will suffer from a hip fracture. Of that number, 12-20% will die of related complications and 50% will never regain the ability to walk. Fifty percent! Shocking!
You’re at risk if…
If none of these risk factors applies to you, then you’re probably fine and can continue with your healthy lifestyle. If you can identify with several of the following risk factors, know that there is something you can do now to reduce your odds and that it is never too late!
- Your mother has been diagnosed with osteoporosis or has had a hip or other osteoporotic fracture.
- You are fair-skinned and blue eyed
- You are tall and thin or have a slight build and/or less than 18% body fat
- You smoke
- You spend most of your time indoors
- You are sedentary and spend less than 4 hours per day on your feet
- You are, or were, a fitness fanatic
- You have a history of amenorrhea (no periods) associated with excessive exercise and/or anorexia
- You drink more than 25 g of alcohol per day…that’s about 2-1/2 beers, 12 oz of wine, or 3 shots of an 80 proof beverage
- Your liver is over stressed
- You drink more than 2 units of caffeine per day…that’s about 2 cups of coffee
- You are or have been clinically depressed for a significant period of time
- Your diet is poor
- You went through premature menopause (before age 40)
- You take steroid drugs regularly (like meds for lupus, asthma, etc.)
- You use anticonvulsant meds regularly or benzodiazepines (like Valium), chlordiazepoxide (Librium) or lorazepam (Ativan)
- You’ve had at least 2 consecutive bone density tests at least 6 months apart, on the same machine, that reported scores more than 2.5 standard deviations below normal for your age
- You have a thyroid disorder
What Can You Do To Build Your Bones: How To Prevent Osteoporosis Naturally
First, address the risk factors that you have control over:
- Cut back or eliminate alcohol and caffeine
- Quit smoking
- Follow the diet plan outline in the Nutrition section here. Eat 5 servings of low-sugar fruits and veggies per day
- Eat phytoestrogens like soy and ground flaxseed
- Get your Vit D level checked. Take 800-5,000 IU per day and lots of natural sunlight
- Drink Green Tea
- Do regular weight bearing exercises, at least 3 per week…like walking or yoga
- Address your depression and get proper treatment
- Get your hormone levels checked. Vit D, minerals and exercise should be enough, but when those don’t work, you may need to supplement with estrogen
Supplements (even if your diet is good):
- Magnesium 600-800 mg
- Calcium 600-1200 mg
- Vit D 800-5,000 IU
- Boron 4-12 mg
- Zinc 15 mg
- Manganese 2-5 mg
- Copper 2-3 mg
- Vit K 70-140 mcg
Herbalists have found that the vitamins and minerals from consuming plants regularly in the form of mineral infusions, help increase bone density.
How to make an Herbal Infusion
Use 1 oz of dried leaves (2 handfuls of cut up leaves). Put in a quart or liter jar. Fill jar with boiling water, put the lid on and steep for 4 hours at room temperature. Store in the frig after it’s ready. Use 2 cups per day.
Oats and oat straw (the grass, leaf, and flower of the oat), for example, are rich in calcium, iron, phosphorous, B complex, potassium, magnesium and Vits A and C.
Source: The Wisdom of Menopause by Christine Northrup, M.D.
Thanks so much for visiting today, I hope you’re taking away something of benefit to you. Please leave your comment below. Tell us your thoughts, are you at risk for osteoporosis? Have you already been diagnosed? What steps have you taken in prevention or treatment? And, remember, Be Well!