Osteoporosis information

Learn the truth about Osteoporosis.

When I was 55 I did my first bone test – the sonar kind that measures your ankle bone. I was told that I had the bones of a 70 year old woman. This was not a huge surprise to me because my mother has had osteoporosis for years, getting shorter and more hunched over every year.

I started exercising more regularly and taking supplements recommended for strong bones. At the time the prevailing belief was that you could never build bone back – you could only slow down the loss.

Around that time the drug barons introduced Fosamax and other bisphosphonates and spent countless millions in advertising to convince all women over the age of fifty that they should take their drug or live in fear of bone loss and death from hip fracture.

Fosomax (Actonel and Boniva) are artificial, man-made ways to increase bone. Naturally your bones have two components, osteoclasts that break old bone down to its ingredients for recycling, and osteoblasts, which build new bone from the old plus the extra parts it needs from your diet. Fosomax is a poison that kills the osteoclasts and prevents the bone from breaking down. So it may look as if you have more bone density on scans when you take it. But it’s old bone that should have been torn down. On very fancy micron microscopes you can see the difference. And in cadavers the bone is obviously defective. It has never been proven to decrease fractures. It’s a typical bigpharm scam. More detail on all that on the Bone Drug page.

It is muscle pulling on bone that creates bone – no drug that poisons the system can create bone.

I am not technical enough to explain all this but, luckily, there is no need because there is a wonderful book, “The Myth of Osteoporosis” written by a New Zealander, Gillian Sanson, who has really done the research. Her family has thin bones from unusual genes so she had to make some important decisions for her children and she read everything written about osteoporosis. One of her more interesting findings was that there is no proven correlation at all between bone density and fracture rates. When older people fall and fracture their bones it is usually the way in which they fall that decides whether they will fracture or not. So preventing falls by increasing core strength, confidence and balance, through weight-bearing exercise, is of major importance. Also most fractures occur to women over 80 and our life expectancy is 82 at present so the danger of fractures has been grossly overstated.

It’s a great book, available from Amazon.  I recommend it to every woman over 50 and to thin women of all ages. It tells you the whole story about bones in a way that is easy to read and understand. Doctors should prescribe this book instead of Fosomax.

Gillian talks at length about the redefining of osteoporosis by the pharmaceutical companies. It used to be both low bone density plus the presence of a fragility fracture that defined osteoporosis. Then the drugs came out and now the definition of osteoporosis is simply low bone density. This adds millions of women to the list of possible drug buyers. But there is no proven connection between low bone density and fractures. Gillian’s own family lives an active and adventurous life with bones that have extremely low density.

Another vital key to the osteoporosis solution is ph balance. Most Americans over 50 have an acid ph. If your body chemistry is acid because of your diet or stress then your body robs your bones of calcium to bind the acid and carry it out of the body through the urine mostly at night while you are sleeping. Read more here.

When I read Dr Rosedale’s diet book, “The Rosedale Diet” I found another reason for my bone loss that makes really good sense to me. If we are sugar metabolizers, our systems run on sugar and are accustomed to burning sugar for fuel. At night, our body does not have access to much sugar because it cannot be stored in large amounts as sugar but only as fat. So our bodies break down our bones and muscles to burn the protien stored in them as sugar. This explained to me why I exercise and yet do not gain muscle. I never appear stronger. By using his diet recommendations I changed my metabolism to a fat-burning metabolism within three weeks and stopped burning up my bones and muscles for fuel. My blood sugar also went down to normal levels on this diet. It is a diet that will heal most of the afflictions customarily considered to be aging; heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, etc. I did not find the diet to be too strenuous, although some people may.

Since I wrote that I have tried many other ways of eating, including rawfood diets, vegan and vegetarian. Now I am back on a diet similar to Rosedale’s called the GAPS diet that heals leaky gut and Candida. More detail on diet is here.

Magnesium deficiency is also an indicator of osteoporosis. A group of menopausal women were given magnesium hydroxide to assess the effects of magnesium on bone density. At the end of the 2-year study, magnesium therapy appears to have prevented fractures and resulted in a significant increase in bone density. Read about it on the magnesium site .

For over 50 years, the dairy industry has pitched milk as a wonder food whose calcium is the only protection we need against weak bones. Yet, between foods and supplements, Americans have the world’s highest calcium intake, and still suffer one of the world’s highest rates of osteoporosis.

While this is blamed on genetic weakness, studies prove otherwise. The best way to learn if disease is genetically or nutritionally induced is to compare different diets among the same genetic groups. Doing this, we find that African women in the United States eat four times more calcium than African women in Africa, and have nine times more osteoporosis . Asian women in the United States eat twice as much calcium as Asian women in Asia, and have three times more osteoporosis. As calcium consumption in Hong Kong and Greece doubled in the last 30 years, the rate of osteoporosis more than tripled in Hong Kong, and doubled in Greece. Finally, white Americans who eat meat and dairy products consume three times more calcium than vegetarians, and have far higher rates of osteoporosis. Thus, it is clear that nutrition is a more powerful influence than genetics in osteoporosis.

While calcium is, of course, vital for strong bones, a study funded by the dairy industry itself shows that the more milk we consume, the more bone we lose (1). The Harvard Nurses Study, which tracked the diet and health over of over 78,000 nurses, as well as cross cultural comparisons from around the world, confirm this. The reason is that we need at least twice as much magnesium as calcium and milk has ten times as much calcium as magnesium.

Dr James Norman says that there are many people with undiagnosed parathyroid disease and that will eventually lead to osteoporosis in every case. The parathyroids sole job is to regulate calcium in the blood. When it gets low it secretes a hormone that takes calcium out of the bones to make up the difference. With an overactive parathyroid neither Fosomax or Actonil will help. There is a clear explanation of all this here.

Our bones are also directly affected by our hormone levels. Bio-identical hormones have been proven to increase bone levels. More about that here.

Back to my own bones. In 2006 I had another bone test done and I was now labeled with osteopenia, which is the precursor to osteoporosis. So I was older yet my bones were getting stronger after following all the methods included on this site. I was very encouraged.

One of the things I found out about osteoporosis is that walking alone will not increase bone density. Walking is good for you, no doubt about it, but in university tests it was shown that it is weight bearing exercise that creates bone. Carrying weights in your hands is too hard on your wrist bones and ankle weights are hard on your ankles, plus both are too far out on the extremities to affect most of your bones.

We need muscle to strengthen our bones. Our miraculous bodies create as much muscle as we need in our daily lives. The body does not create muscle unless we are using it daily, thus the saying, “Use it or Lose It”. Our muscles are attached to bone at both ends and it is the pulling and tugging on the bone by the muscle that causes the bone to grow. So if you are a thin woman who no longer does anything very physical in your life then you are probably lacking muscle and you are not helping your bones to stay strong.

Now, if you are a thin, older woman, you are not going to suddenly start digging ditches or hauling 20 lb children around. You have little reason to build muscle in your daily life. But you probably still do marketing, cooking, cleaning, maybe a little gardening. By adding a weight vest to these daily chores you can step back on the path to growing muscle and bone strength. Weakness is a downward spiral; the weaker we are, the more we want to sit around, and so the weaker we get, on and on. By holding the goal and the intention of building more strength and by putting on the weight vest every day we can start spiraling back up to a richer, fuller life.

It turns out that walking with a brisk stride and a definite heel strike will increase bone faster that just rambling along. The heel strike creates a piezo-electric current up the spine that tells your body to create bone. So when you are used to the wearing the vest for daily chores, then it is time to step out and some brisk walking every day.

Many women have called me after their diagnosis and said they have eaten healthy and exercised for years and still got weak bones. But they are usually on the thin side and perhaps just don’t have the body weight necessary to create bone. I also think that the Dexa scan results are distorted very often. Doctors have told me that if you take the test 1/4 inch from the site you had it last time it can have a completely different result. Many women have a secondary test on a different machine and that is even more likely to be different.

There are also some new factors that are addressed elsewhere on the site including stress and the toxins in our environment, which are increasing hugely every year – as are most chronic diseases. Is that just coincidence? I think not. I think in the future it will be difficult to tell which of all of these factors caused our bone loss or any other problem we have. They are all extra straws for the camel’s back.

Here are some links to interesting articles or websites that have information about weight vests or osteoporosis. I had a lot more links but they have mostly broken over the years. Magazines and other websites change their article locations or just drop the older ones but everyone knows how to google information by now. Just be aware the any medical site is not going to have alternative health information. They will just have information about drugs and surgery, both of which tend to shorten your life and should only be used in emergency situations. My own primary resource for information on any health topic is Dr Mercola. His is the most read site on the net for alternative health information and he has many videos of leaders in the health field with scientific studies to back them up. Dr Jeffrey Dach is another alternative physician who I recommend often.  They are on the list below:

http://www.drdach.com/wst_page6.html

http://faculty.washington.edu/crowther/Misc/RBC/strength.shtml

http://www.mgwater.com/listd.shtml#osteo  – magnesium site

http://www.mercola.com/2001/jan/28/fosamax_ulcer.htm

http://parathyroid.com/osteoporosis.htm

http://askapatient.com
Put Fosamax into the search box here and you’ll come up with 1074 ratings from real people who have taken this drug. The average rating is 1.4 on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being greatest success, and some of the reports of women’s experience are really appalling.