Osteoporosis, or “Porous bone,” affects millions of people. Traditional treatments include medications that more often than not yield little in the way of positive results. The fact that some traditional methods of treatment produce unpleasant, and serious side effects leads some individuals to seek alternative treatments.
Learn the facts about osteoporosis and discover 7 alternative treatments for osteoporosis. Determine if alternative treatment options are the right path to achieve relief from your osteoporosis.
Brief Osteoporosis Overview
When you have osteoporosis, your body either makes too little bone, loses too much bone or in some cases, both of these situations occur. Your bones then become weak and increase risk of falls and fractures. Individuals sustain serious injury at times when other individuals who do not have osteoporosis receive only minor injury from the same type of slip, fall or bump situation.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) explains that breaking a bone is a complication of osteoporosis, particularly hip, spine and wrist, potentially resulting in lifelong pain or change in posture. The NOF conveys the seriousness of osteoporosis by saying that many individuals with osteoporosis require long-term nursing home care after breaking a hip and that 20 percent of those individuals die within a year.
There are multiple factors that lead to osteoporosis, including age, menopause, rheumatoid arthritis, alcohol abuse, smoking, having thyroid disease, taking certain medications long-term, experiencing kidney failure, not getting enough vitamin D, vitamin K, magnesium and possibly some other nutrients.
Traditional Osteoporosis Treatment
Doctors often treat osteoporosis with medications. Like many medications, each comes with a whole laundry list of potential side effects. One class of drugs used to treat osteoporosis is called “Bisphosphonates.” Fosamax, Actonel, Reclast and Boniva are examples of this class of drug. Side effects include heartburn, flu-like symptoms such as fatigue, fever, and bone or muscle pain. More serious side effects include anemia, kidney problems and damage to the jawbone.
Additionally, studies do show that possible serious side effects exist for some individuals taking bisphosphonates. A study published by National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) reported several incidents of patients experiencing ocular difficulties, including the case of a woman whose repeated eye infections only disappeared when not taking the bisphosphonates medication prescribed for her osteoporosis.
Other traditional treatments such as estrogen possibly offer some relief from symptoms and progression, but each carries the risk of potentially serious side effects.
Alternative Treatments for Osteoporosis
There are several alternative osteoporosis treatment options. One therapy includes making dietary choices that support bone health. Calcium plays a major role in developing strong, healthy bones and teeth. While most people likely think of dairy products as the primary source for obtaining calcium, increasing your intake of whole grains, dark, leafy greens, beans and nuts helps increase your absorption of the calcium you already ingest.
If you don’t consume a larger than average amount of calcium, consider taking calcium supplements. An article in Natural Medicine Journal points to health labeling, permitted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (USFDA), indicating that calcium supplements “Maintain good bone health and reduce the high risk of osteoporosis later in life.”
Vitamin K proves beneficial in treating some cases of osteoporosis. Individuals often turn to vitamin K supplements because of the fact that the body does not naturally store large amounts of the vitamin for extended periods.
Vitamin D deficiency carries a risk of developing several conditions, one of which is the potential for weakening the bone and increasing risk for developing osteoporosis. Taking vitamin D supplements is a common routine for individuals who do not get enough vitamin D through their diet.
Although vitamin D supplements are commonly available in big box stores, physicians often prescribe larger doses of vitamin D than that available over the counter.
Obtain healthy amounts of magnesium by increasing intake of fish, meat, dark leafy greens and nuts. Like calcium, magnesium has many important functions in the body, including aiding in bone formation.
Soy isoflavones are often referred to as “Estrogen-like compounds.” Soy aids in protecting bones and halting bone loss. Studies show positive results for soy isoflavones in treating post-menopausal women at risk for osteoporosis.
Acupuncture offers relief for many individuals seeking an alternative to traditional drugs. Used for more than 3,000 years, acupuncture has combined with herbal supplements such as red clover or black cohosh when treating osteoporosis.
World Tai Chi and Qigong Day indicates Tai Chi reduces risk of falls and injuries and may prevent osteoporosis. One study demonstrated that Tai Chi retarded bone loss in weight-bearing bones of post-menopausal women.
When you want to prevent or treat osteoporosis and not suffer side effects, such as painful injections or surgeries, join the others turning to alternative osteoporosis treatments.
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