Osteoporosis is a condition that faces every baby boomer; man or woman. Women are more prone to getting this after menopause, but men can also have "porous bones." Women have much thinner bones and will lose calcium more quickly. Calcium is what makes up the content of the bones and when that is decreased your bones will become more fragile, brittle and break easily. Any type of sudden movement such as a sneeze can become a problem for someone with severe osteoporosis. Often times the patient isn't aware they have this bone problem until the break has already occurred. Small compression fractures can occur in the spine and this creates the bent over appearance or widow's hump. All of this happens silently and until you experience a bad break or have a lot of back pain; you may not know this is going on. So many of us are at risk of this debilitating disease; it really is becoming a public health concern. Some of the risk factors for developing osteoporosis include:
Age. Osteoporosis will likely occur as you grow older and your bones lose density
Race. Caucasian women are among the highest risks categories, but African American women are at risk as well.
Lifestyle Habits. A heavy drinker or smoker is at a much higher risk.
Lack of exercise. If you are a couch potato or don't do much weight bearing exercise you are at a higher risk.
Diet. If your diet is low in calcium and protein you might increase your risks.
Type of figure. If you have small bones you are more likely to develop osteoporosis.
Anorexia or bulimia. These two are thought to increase the rate of bone loss.
Early menopause. It is thought that early menopause naturally or surgically leads to high risks of osteoporosis.
If you don't want to take prescription drugs for problems as you age; alternative medicine might be the answer for you. Most complementary treatments focus on building strong bones because bone can actually be replaced even after loss has occurred. It is suggested you eat a healthy diet that is low in fat and high in whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables and high in calcium is called for. That sounds like it is pretty much good for everybody, right? Some of the foods that are especially good are sardines, salmon, almonds, and dark leafy green vegetables. Supplements you can take are calcium, Vitamin D and magnesium. Don't forget about working out with weights and a regular exercise program. If you want to take herbal supplements; oat straw, alfalfa, licorice, marsh mallow and yellow dock, dong quai, and Asian ginseng are thought to slow down bone loss. There has been a lot of controversy lately about taking HRT so why not try a natural hormone replacement such as plant estrogens from soybeans or natural progesterone from wild yam?
When is it too early to start a treatment to prevent osteoporosis? The answer is it is never too early to start a prevention program. It is said there is really no cure for osteoporosis, but if you begin in your twenties to follow some of the things stated above, you can help prevent this debilitating disease from taking over your senior years. Don't be afraid to talk to your physician about alternative treatments to osteoporosis or other diseases. Alternative treatments allow you to start making some of the decisions for your body and you can take control of the aging process naturally.
Beverly Marshall is a successful freelance writer, certified Aromatherapist and Feng Shui consultant. Her many articles offer guidance, suggestions and common sense ideas to change your life.