What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a common disease that impacts bone density and strength. As we get older we begin to lose important minerals such as calcium that help keep the bones strong and healthy. Osteoporosis occurs when your body cannot replace these minerals as fast as they are depleting.
There are often no signs or symptoms of osteoporosis until someone experiences a minor fall or bone fracture.
What is osteopenia?
Osteopenia is a condition that sits between normal bone density and osteoporosis. Put simply, it is a mid-point. If you have osteopenia your bones are weak but not as fragile and easily broken as if you had osteoporosis.
What causes osteopenia and osteoporosis?
Your bones are constantly renewing themselves. When old bone deteriorates it is replaced by newer, stronger bone. During childhood and teenage years, you produce more bone than what is being broken down. This makes your bones dense, strong and healthy. This strength increases until you are at optimum bone health as young adults.
However, from the age of 35 your bones naturally become more fragile, the process of renewal becomes slower and bones become thinner.
In addition, there are various health and lifestyle factors that impact your bone strength including:
- smoking and alcohol consumption
- breast cancer treatments
- malabsorption of calciumuim
- eating disorders
- chronic disease (liver, kidney and coeliac)
- sedentary lifestyle
- family history
- gender (women are more likely to have osteoporosis as hormone changes affect bone density).
What is the treatment for osteopenia and osteoporosis?
There are some risks such as age, gender and family history that you can’t control when it comes to osteoporosis. However, you can help protect your bones by modifying different areas of your life.
Our specialist naturopaths will emphasise lifestyle changes. A sedentary lifestyle and excessive stress can be highly detrimental to your health. Introducing exercise will help build the muscle around your bones, decreasing the strain that is put on them. You will also be taught effective stress reduction techniques to lower your cortisol levels, a hormone that can impact your bone density and other organ health.
As well as lifestyle changes, Part of this lifestyle change will be cutting out any negative influences such as alcohol, smoking and soft drink consumption. Yyour naturopath will introduce a provide a treatment plan to give your body the nutrition it needs to increase bone strength and balance your hormones.