Doctors may be reaching for medication too often, when natural means might suffice just as well, without side effects
Natural Ways To Prevent And Treat Bone Loss
A reader asks, “Is it necessary to take drugs to prevent broken bones, or are there natural ways to treat this problem? A test shows I have osteopenia and I’m afraid this will lead to osteoporosis (brittle bones)”.
Today, with doctors ordering more tests to determine bone mineral density (BMD), it’s prudent to know what it means when a doctor says, “You have osteopenia.”
One wise sage remarked, “Getting older is invariably fatal”. But before this happens you also get gray hair, wrinkles, fatigue, varicose veins, difficulty reading fine print and, just as night follows day, some bone loss.
But there’s no need to go into a major funk if a BMD test shows this diagnosis. This x-ray procedure measures the amount of calcium and other mineral in bones. The result is known as the “T-score” which compares the patient’s score with that of a healthy 30 year old. The lower the T-score, the less dense the bone.
The big question is whether this aging bone needs prescription medication such as Fosamax, Actonel, Boniva and Reclast, drugs known as bisphosphonates. Or is it more prudent to try natural measures first to strengthen bone?
Today doctors are so focussed on BMD numbers that even if they’re only a bit low many patients are given prescription drugs. But these drugs come with a price. One rarely gets anything for nothing.
For instance, bisphosphonates have been associated with irritation and ulceration of the lower end of the esophagus (food tube), muscle pain, eye inflammation, irregular heart rhythm and, on rare occasions, osteonecrosis of the jaw, a serious, debilitating, irreversible problem.
Dr. John Abramson, author of the book, “Overdosed America”, reports that these drugs increase the density of the hard outer cortical bone, but do little to strengthen the internal trabecular bone of the spine, hips and wrist. So I believe it makes good sense to first try natural remedies to treat osteopenia.
Abraham Lincoln remarked that God gave us our two best doctors, “our left leg and right leg”. Walking is one of the best and safest forms of exercise, putting pressure on bones and increasing their strength. Proof that it works is the fact that anyone who loses an arm develops larger, stronger bones in the other arm.
It’s important to obtain a sufficient amount of calcium in the diet or by calcium supplements. But most people only get 600 milligrams (mg) daily when they need 1,000 to 1,500 mg. Vitamin D is also required for the efficient absorption of calcium and it’s penetration into bones. Most people receive 600 international units (IU) of D when they need 3,000 IU.
Vitamin K2 has been linked to osteoblasts which produce a protein called osteocalcin, a protein like glue that incorporates calcium into bone, decreasing the risk of osteopenia.
Professor T.D. Spector, a noted English researcher, reports that low dose choline-stabilized orthosilic acid (ch-OSA) plays a major role in building strong bones by depositing calcium and phosphate into bone. It also triggers collagen formation that strengthens brittle nails and reduces hair loss. Collagen, like the mortar between bricks, binds cells together giving skin increased strength, more elasticity and fewer wrinkles.
BioSil is a natural dietary supplement that contains choline-stabilized orthosilic acid, the only form of silicon that is biologically active and absorbed by the body. BioSil is so potent that one bottle of it equals the amount of orthosilic acid in 600 liters of mineral water.
BioSil can be taken as either drops or capsules. The usual dose for bone strength is 6 drops per day either in juice or water or one capsule daily. For brittle nails and hair loss an additional 6 drops a day or 2 capsules daily. BioSil is available at most health food stores, but should not be used by pregnant or nursing mothers.
Since osteoporosis affects so many people, I don’t propose that they toss prescription drugs that treat this disease into the garbage can. Rather, I emphasize that doctors may be reaching for medication too often, when natural means might suffice just as well, without side effects.
W. Gifford-Jones M.D is the pen name of Dr. Ken Walker graduate of Harvard. Dr. Walker’s website is: docgiff.com.
Dr. Walker can be reached at [email@example.com?bcc=letters@canadafree.