Bone Health and the Risk of Osteoporosis
Archie Modequillo (The Freeman) - November 11, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Within a person’s lifetime, the body continually reabsorbs old bone and creates new bones. Medical experts say that one’s entire skeletal system is replaced approximately every 10 years, although the process slows down as the person gets older. The process goes on unnoticed for as long as there’s a good balance of new and old bones, which means that the bones stay healthy and strong.

When more old bone is reabsorbed than new bone is created, osteoporosis or bone loss occurs. Sometimes the problem just occurs without any known cause. At other times, it runs in families, where it is passed on from parents to their children, from generation to generation.

In general, osteoporosis is likely to occur in older women, although men can have it too. Women over age 50 years and men over age 70 years are at a higher risk for osteoporosis than younger women and men. Why is osteoporosis a problem? Because the condition causes bones to become weak and brittle – and thus very likely to fracture!

Smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol have also been found to weaken or damage the bones. Sometimes, medicines that treat certain medical conditions can cause osteoporosis. Some of these are hormone-blocking treatments for prostate cancer or breast cancer, some medicines that are used to treat seizures or epilepsy, and glucocorticoid (steroid) medicines, as well as any treatment or condition that causes calcium or vitamin D to be poorly absorbed by the body.

Dr. Susan E. Brown, at the website www.betterbones.com, suggests ways to keep the bones strong and healthy, and keep osteoporosis at bay:

1. Nourish your body with basic nutrients. The present is a time when demineralized soils, overly processed food, low physical activity, and little sun exposure are the norm. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables and avoiding processed foods – white flours, and refined sugars – as much as possible can provide the body with the basic nutrients the cells need to function. High-quality multivitamin supplements may also be considered to fill in any gaps.

2. Provide your body with specific bone-building nutrients. For those who have a higher risk for bone loss, a regular multivitamin is okay but it may not be enough. There are many key bone-building nutrients with which to supplement for improved bone health, including vitamin D and vitamin K. Vitamin D reduces fractures as much or even more than the drug therapies!

3. Eat an alkalizing diet. Diets filled with acid-forming foods, such as large amounts of animal protein, processed foods, low-quality or damaged fats and refined sugars, are one of the most significant problems when it comes to osteoporosis. These foods upset the biochemistry of the body and lead to low-grade metabolic acidosis, where the body turns to the bones to help re-establish acid-alkaline balance. Fruits, vegetables (especially root crops), nuts, and seeds can significantly alkalize the diet and reduce acid in the body.

4. Make your bones stronger with exercise.  Any form of exercise can help halt bone loss by building muscle, and extensive strength training can build bone significantly as it builds muscle. Regular exercise helps one to feel – and look – better.

5. Minimize stress. Chronic stress takes a huge toll on one’s health. Cortisol, the major stress hormone, is extremely detrimental to bone and other organs if it remains at high levels! It is important to take it easy – and to seek help if need be.

It’s so hard to tell where one’s osteoporosis would be coming from, if ever. The focus shall instead be in lessening, if not eliminating, the risk of contracting the disease. And for sure Dr. Susan Brown’s suggestions, if followed, would help much.

OSTEOPOROSIS
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