According to Osteoporosis Canada, Osteoporosis is a disease distinguished by low bone density and bone tissue deterioration. As many as 2 million Canadians suffer from Osteoporosis. Generally, one in four women (over 50) will experience osteoporosis, and one in eight men (over 50).
The High Cost of Osteoporosis
80% of all hip fractures are osteoporosis-related; 20% result in death and 50% result in disability. The cost of osteoporosis in Canada is estimated to be $1.3 billion per year, as the population ages the costs will skyrocket.
Symptoms of Osteoporosis
The Mayo Clinic lists 3 primary symptoms for osteoporosis: back pain could be severe; loss of height over time including a pronounced stooped posture and fractures including wrist or hip. It is important to note that early stages of bone loss may go undetected without diagnostic testing
Natural Treatment for Osteoporosis
Since bone density deteriorates over time it becomes important to build bones throughout your life. Proper diet and physical activity are essential for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.
Weight-bearing exercise is essential for maintaining bone density throughout your lifetime. Walking, jogging, lifting weights, heavy housekeeping, gardening or active sports are all excellent examples of weight-bearing exercises which build bone strength and improve balance and coordination.
Other lifestyle changes include restricting alcohol as well as quitting smoking. It is also recommended that you get at least 15 minutes of sunshine a day, with the use of sunscreen during exposure.
Much of the treatment and prevention tips for osteoporosis come from nutrition, nutritional supplements, and other dietary considerations.
Calcium is a critical element for bone health and density, it is important to ensure not only that calcium intake is essential but also that it is not impeded by other elements such as an over intake of protein. Calcium intake of 1200 mg is recommended for adults over 50 with an 8-ounce glass of milk containing 300 mg. It is important to note that the body can only absorb a limited amount of calcium at any one time, so it is important to spread calcium intake throughout the day.
Calcium-rich foods include milk, yogurt, frozen yogurt, cheese, soy drinks, and tofu as well as canned salmon and sardines, dark green vegetables, and dried beans.
Beneficial Foods to Increase Calcium Absorption
A diet high in vegetables will maximize the ratio of phosphorous to calcium which builds bone strength. Acidy foods like vinegar and lemon juice will aid in the absorption of calcium.
Foods that interfere with Calcium
Heavy consumption of meat and dairy will increase calcium excretion in urine. Refined sugar, salt, caffeine, and alcohol will all increase calcium excretion.
Old Home Cures for Osteoporosis
Apples contain boron which has been shown to help maintain calcium in the body. Bananas are also great sources of potassium which has been shown to increase bone density, particularly in women.
Orange juice contains vitamin C which is essential to preventing osteoporosis. Pineapple juice contains manganese, low manganese is said to be a strong predictor of potential for osteoporosis.
Peanut butter is rich in magnesium, with 50mg of magnesium in 2 tablespoons, magnesium is very beneficial in the strengthening, preserving, and rebuilding of bones.
Brussel sprouts are loaded with vitamin K which is essential for protection from osteoporosis.