40% of all women over 50 have Osteoporosis*
by K. Shane Neifert, D.C.
That headline of a simple statistic says it all. Bone loss is silent. There are no symptoms until, in advanced stages, the bones fracture or compress. The sad news is that many people wait until there is a crisis to do something. By then it is usually too late. Prevention is always best.
There are three basics of maintaining strong bones:
1. Exercise enough to have strong muscles that will pull on the bones and stimulate more bone growth. There is no short cut, that I am aware of, which will do as much for bone density as working up a good sweat on a regular basis. It really doesn’t matter what you do. Just do it. Walks, bike, swim, play tennis, run, do aerobics or calisthenics, lift weights. Choose the activities that are most fun for you so that you will want to continue doing them. There are many other benefits to exercise as well. Start off at a reasonable pace of at least 15 minutes a day three times a week and work up to 40 minutes to one hour a day for three or four days a week. which will give you a good workout. A good sign that the workout is sufficient is that you can’t carry on a conversation very well due to your labored breathing. Follow common sense and check your heart rate while exercising. If you haven’t exercised in a long time or if you have special health concerns, see your doctor and get a thorough physical first.
2. Eat the good clean foods that deliver the proper nutrients for your bone growth. Dark green leafy vegetables and whole grains make up the bulk of what is important for maintaining good nutrition in any individual. Beyond the need for calcium, magnesium, essential fatty acids, and proper thyroid balance are also necessary to make the whole body operation work. Calcium and other elements make their way to the bone tissue where they work together as a team and are assimilated into new healthy bone growth. Diet basics will be covered in a workshop titled “Eat for Life” at St. Louis Spine & Health Center on the 27th of February at 6:30 p.m. Call us to reserve your seat.
Avoid the calcium leaches that are in the average American diet such as refined sugars, flours and additives and most fast foods. At the top of the don’t consume list is soda pop which acts as a blocking agent, due to the phosphates it contains, inhibiting calcium absorption. A recent study shows an increased number of fractures in teenage girls who consume large amounts of soda. This is evidence that the threat may attack at any age. Meat is another product that can leach calcium in the digestion process. Too much meat will not only plug up the gut but will pull out needed calcium to buffer the acidic nature of meat digestion.
3. Maintaining proper hormonal balances will allow the bones to do their job. There are three main reasons to maintain adequate progesterone balance:
- Avoiding osteoporosis -by increasing bone density
- Reduced cancer risk to sex organs (breast, uterus, and ovaries)
- Improved moods and body functions
A saliva test will easily determine the ratio of estrogen to progesterone. If the progesterone level is low there are several resources to help return your body to balance. John Lee, M.D. has written several books that have provided great information to help thousands of women and men who have sought to learn how to return their systems to normal hormonal function and in turn reduce their risk of osteoporosis. Dr. Lee outlined in one book how 100 of his patients were monitored for bone density. They were put on a natural progesterone cream and monitored over a three year period. All had significant increases in bone density. Those that needed it the most had the most improvement, upwards of 23% increased bone density in those three years. These are outstanding results. Far better than found with the product Fosamax that retains existing bones and causes many unwanted side effects.
So there you have it. Give the body a chance and you’ll be surprised at the natural progress it can make, including adding strong bone density to support your body structure for years to come.
Riggs, B.L. and Melton, L.J. III, Bone 17(5), 1995