“Osteoporosis is a major public health issue that affects over 200 million people worldwide. The malady that causes bones to lose their density by allowing the loss of minerals is not a reversible condition. However, proper medication along with a healty diet and lifestyle can help reduce the progression of Osteoporosis.”
What is Osteoporosis
According to WHO, Osteoporosis is a progressive systemic skeletal disease characterized by low bone mass and a microarchitectural weakening of bone tissue, with a consequent increase in bone fragility and an increased risk of fractures. Osteopenia can lead to compromised bone strength and an increase in the risk of fractures of the hip, spine, and other skeletal sites when left untreated. But, can osteoporosis be reversed?
Osteoporosis Prevalence and Complications
Although a common and silent disease, it affects many people of both sexes and all races. However, it is found to be more common in women and older people. Osteoporosis is a prevalent problem that is difficult to recognize until complications occur, often in postmenopausal women. However, it was estimated that 50% of women and 20% of men above 50 years of age might face an Osteoporosis related fracture. These fractures lead to significant prolonged disability, declining quality of life, and increased mortality, with an enormous medical and staff burden on both the patient and the country’s economy (National Osteoporosis Foundation).
What Osteoporosis does to your bones
Our bones are made of live materials that are continually being replaced by new material, and if our body cannot keep up with production demands, Osteoporosis can occur. Consequently, the bones become brittle, and there is an excellent risk for fractures in the spine, hips, and wrists, and it can also occur anywhere.
Stay alert to note the signs of Osteoporosis
People with Osteoporosis may also have a curvature of the spine that leads to a bent posture, and there is even a prolongation of the spine called kyphosis. This condition also causes a decrease in height, so what you hear about shrinking with age is often due to Osteoporosis. Unfortunately, back pain can be accompanied by bone loss.
Can osteoporosis be reversed?
It is not possible to rebuild the bone density that once existed if you are diagnosed with Osteoporosis. The reason lies in the fact that Osteoporosis is an autoimmune disorder. Meaning that your own immunity is fighting against you. Although you can suppress it, you cannot technically reverse it. A combination of anti-inflammatory and bone-building medicines can prove helpful if combined with an optimal diet and a healthy lifestyle.
Alternative Treatments for Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis can be diagnosed and prevented with effective treatments before severe treatments occur. The goal of any alternative treatment is to manage or cure the condition without the use of drugs. Some alternative therapies may be used for Osteoporosis. Although there is little scientific or medical evidence to suggest that they are genuinely useful, many do report success.
The diversity of treated diseases, lifestyle recommendations, and informed, personalized medication decisions should also be considered. Alternative or adjustment therapies, such as lifestyle changes and dietary supplements, may indicate a new approach to simultaneously reducing the effects of chronic psychological stress and Osteoporosis. However, it would help if you always inform your doctor before starting alternative medicine or treatment.
Osteoporosis can have a considerable impact on your quality of life. Lifestyle disorders range from pain to depression to long-term home care. People with osteoporosis or those at risk to develop it should be aware of the disease’s potential complications and seek solutions before problems arise.
To treat and avoid Osteoporosis naturally, you need to follow good habits. Adequate rest is included. Studies show that insomnia can affect bone health by affecting how our bones repair themselves. A person can avoid such issues by adding some essential rules to your daily life. For example, quit smoking and drinking as smoking increases the risk of bone loss and fractures. Also, avoid excessive alcohol, and it has been observed that consuming more than two drinks a day can reduce bone formation. Being under the influence of alcohol will increase your risk of falling. You can prevent falls by wearing low-heeled shoes with non-slip soles and check your home for electrical wires, part rugs, and slippery surfaces. Keep the rooms brightly lit, install grip bars on the inside and outside of your shower door, and make sure you can quickly get in and out of your bed.
Importance of Exercise
Exercise has been shown to slow bone loss and improve muscle strength (read here). Muscles are attached to the bone, thus affecting their health. A healthy posture and proper movement are possible with strong bones. By having strong bones, you can control bone-damaging falls because you can move freely with confidence. Most types of exercise are suitable, but your bones prefer weight-bearing activities above all else. This is an exercise that works against your body’s gravity.
Do not worry, because it includes running, walking, tennis, dancing, stair climbing, aerobics, and weightlifting. So make it a habit to do weight-bearing exercises. When you do this regularly, it helps your bone density, so your bones will be stronger. You should perform this type of activity at least three times a week for 30-40 minutes. Make sure you also do bone-strengthening exercises.
Controlling Osteoporosis through medication
As suggested by National Osteoporosis Foundation, the most commonly prescribed orthopedic drugs are bisphosphonates, including alendronate (Binosto, Fosamax), Risedronate (Actonel, Atelvia), Zoledronic acid (Reclast, Zometa), Ibandronate (Boniva). These medications are not curative in nature, but to prevent further loss of bone density or simply speaking the demineralization. In plain words, medications can hamper and even stall the worsening of osteoporosis. However, osteoporosis can not be completely reversed no matter which medications you choose or which lifestyle you adopt. It can only be stalled.
Some drugs are considered to increase bone mineral density and seemed to have persistent benefits for the people suffering from Osteoporosis .
- Teriparatide is powerful medicine and is similar to parathyroid hormone and stimulates new bone growth.
- Abaloparatide is similar to parathyroid hormone. It stimulates bone formation and increases bone resorption.
- Romosozumab is a new bone-building medicine that has shown positive results to treats Osteoporosis.
Vitamin D and Calcium
Bone health requires both and not enough for many. The Institute of Medicine reviewed the Vitamin D and Calcium guidelines. Knowing about foods rich in calcium, vitamin D, and other essential nutrients for your bone health and overall health can make you pick healthier food every day. Research has taught us that both calcium and vitamin D is essential in building bones. Vitamin D is also produced in our skin by exposure to ultraviolet radiation in sunlight. However, the amount produced varies from person to person. Evidence from studies that have measured vitamin D blood levels indicates that the upper-normal range levels are optimal for bone formation. To reach those levels, you need to take 800 to 1,000 IU of vitamin D a day. The question is how much of each. The guidelines recommend 500 to 700 mg of calcium and 800 to 1,000 IU of vitamin D per day.
A Multi-Nutrient Approach
Your diet directly affects your bone health. Protein is also essential as it provides the building blocks for your bones – and is necessary for muscle growth. It is essential to look at your diet as a whole, as you should not eat to accommodate one or two minerals. It is crucial to adopt an anti-inflammatory diet as much as possible, less swelling in your body, fewer problems, including your bones. A diet rich in foods like vegetables, fruits, fish, and whole grains (such as quinoa and brown rice) will help combat inflammation. This is probably not to say, but avoiding excessive sugars, processed foods, and artificial ingredients can greatly help preserve bone mineral density and prevent Osteoporosis. Whether you choose orthopedic medications to treat your Osteoporosis, you do not need proper nutritional support. Your bones need calcium, but they need more than that.
Good food and nutrients to keep your bones healthy
If you eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of milk, fish, fruits, and vegetables, you should get the nutrients you need each day, but if you are not getting just the recommended amount from the diet, you may need to supplement your diet with multivitamins or supplements.
Use the diet mentioned below, including different types of foods you should eat each day.
- For Vitamin D, dairy products such as low-fat and low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese calcium. Some dairy products are fortified.
- Fish, canned herring, and salmon with bones are a good source of calcium. Vitamin D is found in fats such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, and herring.
- Eat fruits and vegetables like collard greens, turnip greens, kale, okra, Chinese cabbage, dandelion greens, mustard greens, and broccoli for calcium.
- Magnesium is found in lettuce, spinach, beets, okra, tomato products, artichokes, bananas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, collard greens, and grapes.
- Tomato products, grapes, potatoes, lettuce, sweet potatoes, papaya, oranges, orange juice, bananas, bananas, and prunes are rich in potassium.
- Red peppers, green peppers, oranges, grapes, broccoli, strawberries, Brussels sprouts, papaya, and pineapple had Vitamin C
- For Vitamin K, dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, collard greens, lettuce, mustard greens, turnip greens, and brussels sprouts are good.
- Fortified foods are rich in Calcium and vitamin D, for example, juices, breakfast cereals, soy milk, rice milk, cereals, snacks, and bread.
Bone Density Test – Something that you should do.
Bone density testing is the only test that can diagnose osteoporosis before a fracture occurs. BMT tests are recommended for all women over 65. This is usually done using dual-energy X-ray suction measurement (DXA or Texa) or bone density measurement. The quantity of X-rays absorbed by tissues and bones is measured by the DXA machine and is related to bone mineral density. Some people call this the bone mass measurement test. This test uses a device to measure your bone density. Your test results will help your healthcare provider make recommendations to help protect your bones. Learn if you have weak bones or osteoporosis before you break a bone.
When to approach a doctor
You can share with your doctor about concerns related to your treatment and diet plan. You can discuss ways to make sure you are following the instructions for the prescribed medication. If your current plan does not follow your lifestyle, your doctor may recommend a different treatment type. Also, discuss ways to incorporate healthy lifestyle habits to prevent bone density loss and worsening of life.
Although there is no permanent cure for Osteoporosis, there are many things you can do to treat your symptoms, strengthen your body, and slow the disease’s progression. Try to focus on reducing your symptoms and prevent other complications. If Osteoporosis affects your quality of life, talk to your doctor about possible solutions.