Osteoporosis Natural Treatments That Work
Osteoporosis is Not a Calcium Deficiency: What One Doctor Has to Say
“Grandma fell and broke her hip,” is the fateful news we hate to hear. Even with a hip replacement, we know it is going to be downhill from here. A broken hip is often the beginning of the end for a senior.
Both history and DNA repeat themselves, and since grandma broke her hip, we have our own bone density tested. The doctor seals our fate and says the same thing is going to happen to us if we don’t take certain medication. Famous actors on TV ads confirm just how crucial it is take osteoporosis medication.
There is a whole culture of fear surrounding the aging process. We fear that it’s going to strike us – and we never know when and where to expect it. Out of fear we take calcium and bisphosphonates (prescription drugs) to ward off brittle bones. After all, you don’t want to end up like Grandma! But, everything you’ve heard about osteoporosis is wrong!
Osteoporosis History: Rickets
The reality of osteoporosis is very different. Osteoporosis is not a disease of aging, but of the Industrial Revolution, hardly appearing on the scene before then. Prior to the Industrial Revolution, people lived, worked and traveled outdoors in the sunshine. But since that time, several changes have occurred:
- Work moved indoors under artificial lighting.
- Cities became polluted with soot that prevented the ultraviolet light that makes vitamin D from reaching the people.
- People started bathing more often.
- Children among the wealthy class were kept indoors without exercise since cities were dangerous places. As a result, these children became more susceptible to rickets because they didn’t have enough calcium.
Many may remember the storybook (and movie) of Heidi. Her friend, Klara, lived in the city and was in a wheelchair, becoming weaker and weaker. But when Klara went to visit Heidi in the mountains, she gained strength and was miraculously able to walk again. Her recovery was attributed in the story to the clean mountain air. Truth be told, Klara had a disease called “rickets.” The “clear mountain air” that supposedly healed her was actually the sunshine that made vitamin D she was getting for the first time in her life.
By the middle of the 20th Century, everyone knew what rickets was and how to prevent it. My mom even lined up her kids for a dose of Cod Liver Oil, rich in vitamin D, specifically for that purpose.
Modern Day Osteoporosis
In our modern society things have only gotten worse! We forgot about rickets and stopped thinking about getting enough sunshine. Not only do we work indoors all day, the dermatologists are now telling us to avoid the sun at all costs. We use sunscreen; we wear hats and clothing, we stay indoors or stay shaded from the “cancer-causing sunshine.” (This is the topic of another discussion.)
Moreover, we bathe every day. One patient of mine was a beach volleyball player. He was out on the beach without a shirt or sunscreen every day and he was still in the “osteopenia” range of vitamin D. It turns out that every time he finished playing he would go take a shower, washing all his vitamin D down the drain. Did you know it takes over 24 hours to absorb vitamin D through the skin?
Vitamin D helps us absorb and use calcium. Without a constant supply of vitamin D, our body takes the calcium out of our bones to make our muscles and nerves work. Osteoporosis is just a mild form of rickets. Osteopenia is a little milder, and so forth. The scale looks like this: