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Nutritional Guidelines for Treating Osteoporosis
Return to Naturopathic Medicine

Both men and women start a normal bone density decline after age 40. Osteoporosis is an acceleration of that normal bone density loss that everyone experiences as we age. While there are many classifications of osteoporosis related to various diseases, these guidelines are referring to Postmenopausal Osteoporosis.

The standard medical practice in these situations is to take Estrogen Replacement Hormones. And while this will eventually halt the bone loss after initially increasing it and may partially reverse osteoporosis, it is not all that can be done for this condition. There are many things that every woman with osteoporosis can do to decrease risk of fracture, rebuild bone and reduce the pain associated with vertebral fracture.

 

Dietary Changes

Foods to avoid: coffee, alcohol, pop, high protein diets (that means – eat less meat), high fat diet, refined carbohydrates (white bread products), excessive dairy products.

Foods to eat: Green leafy vegetables (kale, collard greens, chard, spinach – not lettuce), fruit, black berries, blueberries, and all the regular food that you eat that is not mentioned in foods to avoid. (Chocolate is fine in moderation) These foods are high in Vitamin K, which is often deficient in people with osteoporosis.

Exercise

This can not be over emphasized. Weight bearing exercise, 45 minutes to one hour of moderate exercise three times a week, will help reverse osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. Weight bearing exercises are walking, dancing, tai chi, golf, lifting small weights while standing or in a wheel chair, gardening, tennis, and climbing flights of stairs. Sedentary people have an increased rate of urinary and fecal calcium excretion.

Other Things to Avoid

Taking the following medicines on a regular basis: antacids and diuretics.

Avoid smoking. If you smoke, then either decrease or increase your nutritional supplementation of Vitamin E and C while you decrease.

Be Cautious With Flouride and Aluminum

Flouride increases bone density, but not strength. It has side-effects in 1/3 to of people taking it of joint and bone pain, nausea and vomiting, and it did not decrease incidence of bone fracture. Aluminum, commonly found in cooking utensils and antiperspirants causes increase calcium loss through urination.


OSTEOPOROSIS – A LOOK AT NONESTROGENIC TREATMENTS

Goals of treatment
    1. Protect further bone loss

    2. Rebuild Bone structure and strength

    3. Prevent Fractures

    4. Decrease pain from collapsed vertebrae

  1. Diet

    1. Moderate Protein – 40 – 50 grams daily

    2. Fruits and vegetables – numerous studies show these are connected with higher bone mineral densities.

    3. Avoid Carbonated Beverages – throws the calcium:phosphate balance off resulting in a loss of calcium from the bones.

    4. Decrease fat, salt and sugar. All are associated with decreased bone mass.

  1. Minerals to be cautious about

    1. Flouride – increases density, but doesn’t protect against fracture. It causes significant side-effects in 1/3 to people taking it.

    2. Aluminum – from cooking pots, antacids and antiperspirants, leads to an increase in calcium excretion in the urine.

    3. Lead – Calcium carbonate from dolomite or bone meal contains lead which disrupts Vitamin D’s ability to interact with calcium.

  1. Other Risk Factors for Osteoporosis

    1. Malnutrition – not eating a nutritious or adequate diet

    2. Malabsorption – eating but not absorbing

    3. Decreased Stomach Acid – very common and is one reason for malabsorption

    4. Lactose intolerance

    5. Winter – more difficult to obtain sufficient amounts of Vitamin D.

    6. Regular use of antacids, cortcosteroids, and anti-convulsants. Gastric or small bowel resection

 

 

 

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Dr. Juniper Martin
11825 SW Greenburg Road,
Suite A2
Tigard, OR 97223
503-443-2332