Alternative Treatments for Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis has both preventive as well as treatment options, but it is wise to abide by the preventive measures so as to avoid the disease state. Other than the conventional treatments Osteoporosis is known to be treated with alternative remedies.
| Saturday, May 22, 2010
Osteoporosis is a condition that is characterized by demineralization of the bone. The porosity of the bone makes it weak and prone to fracture. Female sex at post menopausal stage and elderly persons (both male and female) are the two categories most prone to the risk of Osteoporosis. Stop the bone loss is the primary aim of treatment.

Best treatment for osteoporosis

Lifestyle is the deciding factor in case of Osteoporosis, wherein the individuals who are at risk become more prone to acquire the condition. Lifestyle management, under the guidance of a doctor, is not only a good way to treat Osteoporosis but can also prevent the occurrence.  The best treatment for Osteoporosis can be judged only after understanding the stage of the condition.

The following are the general modes of treatment:

Nutrition

  • Fulfilling body's Calcium demand is of foremost importance. Calcium intake should be increased through diet (low fat milk and milk products, fresh fruit juices, cereals, dry fruits like almonds) and supplements. Among external sources, Calcium citrate is most readily absorbed in out system compared to Calcium carbonate and Calcium phosphate.
  • Magnesium and Potassium are also important elements in maintaining the bone health.
  • Replenishing body's Vitamin D and Vitamin K demand helps in enhancing bone formation. It is essential to include leafy vegetables, milk products, sea food, eggs etc in the diet to add up the mentioned essential vitamins.
  • Adding soy to the diet promotes bone mineralization.

Exercises

  • The aim of exercise in Osteoporosis s different than the routine. The primary intention of exercise is to build the body's balance by strengthening the muscles to avoid a fall that can lead to bone fracture.
  • Walking and weight-bearing exercises are recommended by doctors; care should be taken to not to lay pressure on the affected bones due to exercise.

Medication

  • Estrogen and Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). HRT has significant side effects and its continuous usage leads to breast cancer and heart disease.
  • Agents that retard the bone loss process are one of the effective medications.
  • Biophosphonates (known to increase the bone density) are prescribed to reduce the risk of fractures.
  • Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) are used as a replacement for Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), which act on estrogen receptors, stimulating estrogen-like action.

Alternative Therapies for Osteoporosis

  • Strontium is a known trace element that promotes bone formation. Its supplementation is considered to be a good alternative therapy.
  • Whey which is rich in lactoferrin is said to promote bone formation.
  • The very much trusted Indian jewel of Ayurveda too has remedies for Osteoporosis. A formula prepared by mixing herbs in fixed proportion is consumed along with milk to control Osteoporosis. Though Ayurveda is believed not to be associted with side effects, the dosage of the herbs must be consumed only under the strict guidance of an Ayurvedic doctor.
  • Ancient Chinese medicines and exercise systems (known as Tai chi) are also popularly accepted as alternative medicines. These are believed to improve the posture, balance and flexibility of joints.
  • Calcitonin increases the bone density by decreasing the rate of bone demineralization. It is a preferred alternative to Estrogen.
  • Parathyroid hormone therapy seems to be a reliable alterative treatment for Osteoporosis.
  • Isoflavones, are phytoestrogens (of plant origin) that function same as estrogen. Isoflavones are still under the watchful eyes of researchers to understand their benefits in Osteoporosis.
  • Certain herbs which show estrogen-like actions are still under study like Black cohosh and Red clover. They are not extensively used in the treatment of Osteoporosis because they are suspected to be associated with the same risk factors as estrogen.
   
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