“Most of the current drugs slow or stop the osteoclast activity of the bone and new bone is built on a foundation that should be torn down.”
What do you know about osteoporosis? Everyone hears bits and pieces on TV, people read online, and others just listen to what Sally Field has to say. Let’s look closer and consider the underlying CAUSES of osteoporosis rather than just considering ways to treat the SYMPTOMS.
Here are a couple of word pictures that will help you understand bone density. There are two major activities taking place simultaneously: osteoblastic activity and osteoclastic activity. Osteo refers to the bone but when you hear the suffix “blast” with a “b” think build. When you hear the suffix “clast” with a “c” think chew. Old bones should be chewed up. The osteo “clast” or chewing activity will make room for new bones to build, the osteoblast activity.
Did you know that most of the current drugs and pharma cocktails slow or stop the osteoclastic or chewing activity of your bones? New bone is then built on a foundation that never gets broken down due to the effects of drugs. Yes, the data is true; by using the osteoporosis drugs bone density is marginally thicker for the first few years because the older weakened bone is still intact. However that bone will be weaker and women will be more prone to experience spontaneous fractures after 3 or 4 years.
Would you build a weight bearing wall on wood that has been rotten or eaten away by termites? Of course not, yet the TV ads almost make you feel guilty if you are not taking their bone building cocktails. Dr. Godo can address your bone loss, put together a program to feed bones, as well as muscle, and monitor your progress.
Let’s look further at the causes of bone loss and how we can increase bone health. Osteoblast or “building” activity is dominant in women until around age 30. At that point a shift occurs and osteoclast or “chewing” activity becomes dominant, though both still occur. By age 40 we see bone mineral density beginning to drop.
Stress causes an increase in cortisol which has a bone thinning effect. Whether the stress is emotional, the result of a refined, demineralized diet, or a sedentary lifestyle, cortisol is increased. Increases in cortisol will ultimately further increase osteoclast activity which results in greater bone loss.
In America today, inflammation, metabolic syndrome and diabetes are rampant and each of these conditions is a major predictor of bone loss. Each of these conditions are also associated with an acidic body chemistry known as “relative acidity.”
If the pH of the blood goes below normal levels, the body’s compensatory mechanisms go into play and buffers are released. Many of these buffers are mineral based. Sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium as well as other minerals are recruited from storage areas in your body to keep the blood in its delicate balance. Guess where the storage areas are; exactly, the bones.
Can you see how women in other cultures may consume less calcium yet have stronger bones? They don’t have the “relative acidity” factor from their diet that women in western countries have.
Knowing osteoporosis is such a major issue, when should you begin monitoring and making prudent diet and supplement changes? Should we wait until major bone loss or fractures occur? I believe every woman 40 years and older should be tested on a routine basis. As the bone is “chewed up,” proteins are given off. Dr. Godo can measure the rate of loss in the urine through a simple urine test and determine if there is too much or too little osteoclast activity. As a result of testing, therapies and dietary changes can be monitored easily and inexpensively.
Females lose ½ to 1% of their lean muscle mass every year after age 20. If we don’t have the muscle strength to counter act gravity, our head which can weigh as much as a bowling ball, will cause the forward slump associated with old age regardless of your bone strength.
Along with other natural therapies, Dr. Godo can suggest rehab exercises to make sure the neck and spine can hold the 17 plus pounds a head weighs. Getting started now can make a difference in how you will look in 10 years. Healthy bone strength can even increase your activity level and energy capacity.
Nothing against Sally Field, but true bone health is more than just calcium and pharma cocktails. It’s about assessing diet, exercise, trace minerals, hormones, digestion, blood sugar, inflammation, and systemic pH.
If you have questions, give Dr. Gdoo a call and talk to him about osteoporosis. It’s something most women are concerned about. You are not being over cautious if you take osteoporosis seriously. In all honesty, you should.
Dr. Jason Godo, DC