Osteoporosis is a serious medical condition that is unfortunately getting more common. There are several medications available for the treatment of osteoporosis, but they have some potentially very serious side effects.
So what are some non-prescription things that you can do to strengthen your bones to treat or prevent any bone loss that you may be having? Osteoporosis is a condition where a person loses bone mass. It is either due to losing too much bone or not making enough bone. Bone is living tissue. It is constantly being broken down and replaced. When it is getting broken down faster than it is being made, the bones will gradually become weaker which makes it easier for them to fracture even with normal daily activities.
1 in 7 women over 50 have osteoporosis. About 25% of women over age 65 have osteoporosis of either the hip or lumbar spine. About 5% of men over age 65 have osteoporosis. About half all women and 1 out of every 4 men over 50 will have an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetime.
This is a very serious issue, because after a hip or vertebral fracture, mortality is much higher in those people than in the general population even as late as 10 years after the fracture! Most of those deaths are not directly due to the fracture. Instead, the fracture is an indicator of a decline in the health of that person and often leads to other conditions that result in death.
The density of a bone is measured using a machine called a DEXA scan (dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry). There are other tests that are used, but the DEXA is considered to be the gold standard. A DEXA scan will give you a T-score and a Z-score for each bone that was tested.
So what can you do to keep your bones strong and help regain bone loss if your DEXA scan shows you have osteoporosis or severe osteopenia:
Osteoporosis is an extremely common and dangerous condition. It needs to be monitored closely and aggressively treated when possible. Like most conditions that affect the human body, eating a whole-food, nutrient-dense diet and exercising regularly (especially weight-bearing exercise) are the mainstays of treatment. Optimizing the levels in the body of vitamin D, K2, and magnesium are essential to maintain and restore bone density. Other options for increasing bone mass include strontium, boron, and soy isoflavones. Optimizing testosterone levels can also help.