Natural Support For Healthy Bones
Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, is a common occurrence in people over age fifty. Weight-bearing joints are most often affected. Early symptoms include pain and stiffness that are worse in the morning or after inactivity. With progression of the disease, movement causes aggravation of symptoms.
Osteoarthritis is caused by a combination of factors, including wear and tear of cartilage, free radical damage to joint material, lack of nutrients, dietary imbalances and dehydration. Drugs used to treat arthritis, NSAIDS, provide temporary symptom relief of symptoms but accelerate the underlying disease process. They should be used only for short periods of time while corrective measures are being initiated.
Diet And Lifestyle Recommendations
- Eat cold water fish (salmon, mackerel, halibut) in preference to chicken, beef or pork; eat plenty of green vegetables.
- Avoid known food allergens. The nightshade family of vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, potato) are specific allergens for many people with arthritis. Consider an elimination/challenge diet to evaluate.
- Achieve and maintain a normal weight. Excess weight puts extra wear and tear on joints.
- Exercise regularly. Studies have shown a decrease of painful symptoms and an increase in mobility in people who exercise regularly. See BACK PAIN for specific low back exercises.
- Drink 48 ounces of pure water daily.
- Do not smoke. Smoking generates high levels of free radicals.
- BASIC Program (Multivitamin/mineral supplement with extra antioxidants such as Maxi Multi or Once Daily My Packs).
- Glucosamine sulfate: (750mg, pharmaceutical grade): 2 Caps, 2 times per day for 6 weeks, then 1 cap, 2 times per day after that.
- Turmeric: 1 cap, 2-3 times per day between meals.
- For acute symptoms (While waiting for Glucosamine Sulfate to take effect): Bromelain: 2 Caps, 3 times per day between meals.
Dr. Myatt’s Comment If self-help measures fail to give improvement in three months, please consult myself or another holistic physician. This is one condition that can be greatly helped and even cured through natural medicine.
Osteoporosis means, literally, porous bone. It is a bone-thinning disease that affects 200 million people worldwide. It is often referred to as a silent disease because it comes on with few or no symptoms. Often, a fall resulting in a fracture is the first evidence of the disease. Other symptoms and signs of osteoporosis include a decrease in height, spontaneous hip or vertebrae fractures, and back pain.
In elderly women, complications from hip fracture that result in death is far more common than death from breast cancer, yet few people realize the seriousness of the disease. Although Osteoporosis is more common in postmenopausal women, it also occurs in men and in all age groups. White and Asian women are at greatest risk because their bones tend to be less dense to begin with.
What Causes Osteoporosis?
There are a number of factors that appear to be involved in the development of osteoporosis. These include:
- Lack of minerals. Osteoporosis is caused by a demineralization of bone. Although calcium is one of the major bone minerals, there are a number or other minerals found in normal bone. These include magnesium, boron, and zinc. A deficiency of any of these can accelerate bone loss.
- Gastric acid or digestive enzyme deficiency. Hydrochloric acid (gastric acid) and digestive enzymes are necessary for the assimilation of minerals, yet more than half of the general population over age 60 is deficient in one or both of these digestive functions.
- Lack of physical activity. Exercise that stresses bone causes an uptake of minerals. Conversely, immobility leads to a demineralization of bone. Exercise alone has been shown to increase bone mineral mass.
- Dietary factors. Certain dietary factors can hasten the loss of minerals from bone. These factors include high sugar/high starch diets, excess phosphorus in the diet (as found in soda pop, processed foods, and meat), excess alcohol consumption, excess caffeine consumption (more than two cups per day).
- Cigarette smoking.
- Certain drugs, especially adrenal steroids.
- Heavy metal toxicity. Certain heavy metals, which may be introduced into the body through cigarette smoke, drinking water, and a number of other sources, can trigger demineralization of bone by displacing the normal bone minerals.
- Stress. Perhaps because perceived stress changes digestive and assimilative abilities, although the exact mechanism is unclear.
- Other factors. These include genetic predisposition, various disease states, hormonal imbalances.
What About Menopause and Osteoporosis?
A decrease in hormone production as seen in menopause is associated with an accelerated rate of demineralization in both women and men. Although estrogen replacement therapy can slow the rate of bone loss, it is not highly effective at reversing the condition once it is established. There are, however, ways to reverse osteoporosis. This is because bone is a living, growing tissue, not static material as some people wrongly believe. Consult your holistic physician for evaluation and recommendations for preventing or reversing osteoporosis.
Diet And Lifestyle Recommendations
- Eat a nutritious diet. Emphasize soy products, nonfat yogurt and milk, and green leafy vegetables.
- Avoid soda pop and high coffee consumption.
- Exercise regularly, especially weight-bearing exercise. Walking is one of the very best.
- BASIC Program (Multivitamin/mineral supplement with extra antioxidants). Maxi Multi or Once Daily Mypacks are good multivitamins for Osteoporosis prevention and reversal. Dose: Maxi Multi 3 Caps, 3 times per day with meals or Mypacks: one packet per day with a meal.
- Follow recommendations for MENOPAUSE (see Women’s Health ) if you are peri- or post-menopausal.
- Support any organ system that scored high on the self-health appraisal questionnaire. (see the Holistic Health Handbook)
- Cal-Mag Amino: for additional bone minerals if intake is insufficient from BASIC supplementation. Total calcium intake should be 1200-1500mg per day for postmenopausal women.
Dr. Myatts Comment: Osteoporosis is a preventable and reversible condition when treated correctly.