4 Steps for Better Bone Health
Hippocrates is said to have taught “Let Food Be Thy Medicine And Medicine Be Thy Food” – and we must say we agree wholeheartedly with him, and wish it was still true! If life was the same today as it was then – his claim would be just as true today.
Unfortunately, today’s soils, food raising methods, lifestyle and environmental degradation have had long-term impacts on the planet and all that live on it. This means that what Hippocrates said almost 2500 years ago, is unfortunately, no longer the case.
In fact, it has not been the case for many, many, may decades. These days, more than 6 million Australians of every age and each gender suffer from an ailment that affects the way that they move, rest and play, their independence and their state of mind.
The time for rectifying our body’s ills with simple foods is long gone – we must take extra actions!
Here are 4 Simple Steps for Better Bone Health.
But first, lets look. Why is there such a growing problem with bone issues these days?
After all, bone is constantly growing and changing. Bone is living tissue, and it’s an easy thing for many people to forget. Everything is fine as long as the status quo remains, until, of course, something goes wrong. Most of the time, our bodies work very well at keeping the right proportion of new bone growth and old bone resorption (breakdown) in balance.
But not always, and there are two key reasons . . . and the Savvy Team help address the underlying causes, so make sure you reach out to us.
- In Nutrition & The Spine we already discussed just what happens to one’s bone health when ones nutritional levels are inadequate. Medicine Plus, the online US National Institute of Medicine says many bone diseases are caused by poor nutrition, genetic factors or problems with the rate of bone growth or rebuilding. We gave heed to the then current research on arthritis and osteoporosis, which indicated that according to the Complementary Healthcare Council of Australia, natural supplementation was the preferred treatment of choice, but it was the least recommended by medical practitioners, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
- What you may not know is that the WHO Report of 2012 listed Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) as major factors in many bone issues, poor development with research showing that even exposure in utero can and will cause problems in later life. We discussed in 2010 why it’s important to protect these vital body structures in The Backbone of Sensible Supplementation, listing six of the major functions of the human skeleton: Support, Storage, Metabolism, Movement, Protection and Endocrine Regulation, and explaining the many ways your bones look after you via these functions.
Bone Disease Is A Global Burden
Musculoskeletal diseases have featured heavily in a comprehensive research report into the global impact of all diseases and risk factors published by The Lancet and described by Lancet Editor-in-Chief Dr Richard Horton as “a critical contribution to our understanding of present and future health priorities for countries and the global community“.
The study identified musculoskeletal as the second greatest cause of years lived with disability (YLD) globally, and in nearly all regions. Interestingly damage due to falls accounted for an additional 19,459 YLD. Taken together, falls and musculoskeletal conditions (185,414 YLD) are the greatest cause of disability throughout the world. The study also reported a 45% increase in YLDs from musculoskeletal conditions between 1990 and 2010 driven largely by population growth and ageing.
As of 2017, rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs) were said to affect more individuals than any other disease group in the world, and are the biggest cause of sick leave and premature retirement worldwide. It affects a quarter of all people in the European Union – over 120 million people – and approximately 25% of the world’s population.
Many think age-related changes to muscles, bones and joints are unavoidable. However, researchers now suggest that many factors associated with ageing are due to poor nutrient uptake, toxin exposure and inactivity, and this includes the health of your bones. After about age 20, you can lose bone faster than you make bone. Especially if you are not giving your body what it requires for continued healthy bone development.
There are certain factors that also increase the speed with which your bones develop, and others which slow down bone loss, as well as genetic and lifestyle factors that impact this balance. To have strong bones when you are young no matter what your genetic inheritance, and to prevent bone loss when you are older, you need to get enough nutrients, exercise and you need to avoid exposure to EDCs.
What About Australian Bone Health?
Over 6 million Australians live with poor bone health, with arthritis being the main issue. Arthritis is an umbrella term for more than 100 medical conditions that affect the musculoskeletal system, specifically joints where two or more bones meet. Arthritis is one of the most painful conditions an individual has to endure. Did you know that 3.9 million Australians – adults and children – have arthritis (2017). That’s 1 in 6 people and the numbers are ever increasing. By 2030, it is projected there will be 5.4 million Australians with arthritis.
While arthritis is very common, it’s not well understood, according to the leading arthritis body in Australia, yet around 2 million people with arthritis are of working age (15-64 years). The cost of treatment: in 2012 it exceeded $4.6 billion per annum, in 2015 arthritis alone cost the Australian health system $5.5 billion. This will rise to $7.6 billion by 2030 as our population continues to age, according to the leading arthritis body in Australia.
- Arthritis accounts for 8% of the total burden of disease and injury in Australia
- Children get arthritis too
- Arthritis is the leading cause of chronic pain and the second most common cause of disability and early retirement due to ill health in Australia.
- 52,000 people (aged 15-64 years) unable to work due to arthritis
In 2010 we reminded readers that someone was admitted to a hospital somewhere in Australia with a fracture due to osteoporosis every 8 minutes. Osteoarthritis, a condition of wear and tear on joint structures, when the natural breakdown exceeds the body’s ability to repair, can lead to degenerating joints and damage to surrounding tissues, which become inflamed. Over 1.9 million, which is 1 in 10 Australians have it, and osteoporotic fractures occurs in more than 65,000 Australians each year.
With over 6 million Australians living with poor bone health, and with incidences rising and the same sort of increases occurring world wide over past two decades, it’s time to look at why that might be. It highlights the important implications for health systems both locally and globally to take a look at their paradigm of care. It also highlights the need for governments and individuals alike to develop effective and affordable strategies to respond to this burden.
Never-the-less, waiting for governments to take a stand and put a stop to the underlying issues will not make a difference in the short-term, or to your wellbeing.
But what you do as an individual will.
This is where education regarding the vital importance of supplementation, and how to avoid the predominance of the nasties, can make a difference, both to the individuals suffering needlessly, and thus reduce the growing economic burden as well. Many think age-related changes to muscles, bones and joints are unavoidable. However, researchers now suggest that many factors associated with ageing are due to poor nutrient uptake, toxin exposure and inactivity, and this includes the health of your bones.
Here Are The 4 Simple Steps For Better Bone Health
1. Increase Nutrition
A basic nutritional program, taken over a long period of time, can really make a difference to a wide range of modern-day health issues. Dr Terry gives a list of nutrients that specifically assist in the dissolving of bone spurs, however I believe that if you stick to the basics, and make sure your internal health and digestive function is working optimally, then all will come right, without getting into imbalance in some other area.
2. Reduce pain, acidity and inflammation
PAIN – According to MayoClinic.com, most bone spurs are not painful, but bone spurs might rub on neighbouring bones and nerves, which can result in pain. Many bone spurs go asymptomatic for years.
Turmeric is a natural pain reliever. This herbal remedy contains curcumin, which helps reduce inflammation and diminish pain. To most effectively treat pain associated with bone spurs, use a supplement high in turmeric, and even use it in your cooking.
ACIDITY – One cause of heel spurs is too much acid in your body, which causes calcium deposits. Apple Cider Vinegar helps rebalance your pH levels and naturally dissolves bone spurs. The treatment also reduces inflammation. You can make a simple tonic using 1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar diluted in 1 glass of water. Drink the mixture twice a day for the best results. helps rebalance your pH levels and naturally dissolves bone spurs.
INFLAMMATION – One of the main symptoms associated with bone spurs is inflammation. This daily dose of Apple Cider Vinegar also reduces inflammation. Using anti-inflammatory supplements is often a fast solution for extended relief and treatment. Also, fresh Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory, so you can use it to treat issues with bone spurs.
3. Balance your hormones naturally
The delicate balance of hormones can be disrupted and cause a myriad of issues. In today’s world an excess of oestrogen is causing widespread hormonal disruption, according to the World Health Organisation’s 2012 report on Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals. So here are some simple natural ways to balance your hormones … naturally.
- De-stress. If you are chronically stressed and have your cortisol going in overdrive, your progesterone levels are at stake. Cortisol production competes with progesterone production and can cause deficiency. Here is what Project Aware says about the function progesterone, and here Dr John Lee renown for his work on balancing women hormones naturally, gives some FAQs on progesterone.
- Eat organically. This is to help minimise exposure to oestrogen, which, if out of balance will give you the same symptoms as a progesterone deficiency. Particularly make sure your animal products are organic.
- How is your cholesterol? Nope, I’m not wondering if your cholesterol is too high. If your cholesterol levels are too low you may not have enough of the precursors to be making enough progesterone – that . Try eating farm eggs and grass-fed butter and getting plenty of good nutritional supplements.
- Healthy adrenals help. They house a steroid DHEA, that is essential in the production of many hormones, including . . . you guessed it, progesterone. One way to help foster adrenal health is by working with natural circadian rhythms. Try to get to sleep earlier (like by 10 at the latest) and get up earlier.
- Vitamins and minerals. Vitamin B6 is essential to forming a good corpus luteum, which is your biggest progesterone producer. Magnesium is important to break down excess oestrogen, so making sure you have good levels of magnesium can help the balance of oestrogen and progesterone. Vitamin C is proven to help raise progesterone levels. Keep in mind that the first way to get in the nutrition you need is through good food, not supplements.
- Herbs. If you are concerned as to how to boost your hormonal health naturally, herbs such as turmeric, thyme, and oregano are all thought to help raise levels. Vitex (chaste tree berry) is also known to help balance hormones overall. Kratom is also considered to be a powerful pain relief herb, but you should be very careful with kratom dosage as it is addictive.
4. Moderate exercise
- Physical activity can help to reduce or reverse the risk of disability and chronic disease. Your nervous and endocrine systems work together to regulate how your body responds to exercise. When you exercise, the motor neurons, or nerve cells that supply your muscle fibers, increase. When this neural activation occurs, neurotransmitters trigger your endocrine system to release a hormone.
- In “Exercise Physiology for Health, Fitness and Performance,” Sharon Plowman and Denise Smith explain that the primary role of the hormones released during exercise is to help regulate metabolism, your body’s ability to make and maintain energy.
These are some ideas to get you started.
For more information on the hormonal issue check out the work of Dr John Lee at Natural Progesterone. Also read Dr John Lee and Dr. Jerilynn C. Prior – Professor of Endocrinology and Metabolism (the study of hormones and glands) at the University of British Columbia and is the Scientific Director of the Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research, (CeMCOR).
Doing some research recently, I found the following article that confirms what we’ve been saying for years about the benefits of treating the body wholisticly. As I thought you may like to read it, here it is from a Women’s Health Activist Newsletter – January/February 1999.
Plus here is a Pdf from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons with their recommendations for Healthy Bones At Every Age.
As with any healing you do, what you choose to use is going to be dependent on what has caused the issue and what you seem to do best on. The above listed methods are things that should help your health overall and are quite benign. If you do not want to wait or have not had luck with anything holistic, you may want to consult your doctor or other health care practitioner for natural progesterone sources.
You might also find this Facebook Live Session valuable, titled ‘9 Tips to Build Healthy Bones . . . Naturally!’
[Want some actionable tips for healthier joints and bones? Download the report – ’17 Top Tips for Healthier Joints (and Bones Too!) ]
A few of the over 100 rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases:
- Arthritis – an umbrella term for more than 100 medical conditions that affect the musculoskeletal system, specifically joints where two or more bones meet
- Low bone density and Osteoporosis – bones weak and more likely to break
- Osteoarthritis – a condition of wear and tear on joint structures, when the cartilage within the joint breaks down, causing pain and stiffness
- Osteogenesis imperfecta – bones are brittle
- Osteomalacia – bones become soft, often due to poor metabolism of vitamin D
- Paget’s disease – indicates weak bones
- Osteopenia – early signs of bone loss that can turn into osteoporosis
- Gout – a type of arthritis caused by too much uric acid in the bloodstream, which causes severe pain and swelling.
- Lupus – a chronic condition that results from a malfunctioning immune system. Inflammation caused by lupus can affect many different body systems — including your joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart and lungs.
- Rheumatoid arthritis – inflammation of the joints
- Bone spurs – joint damage, inflammation or injury of nearby cartilage or tendons
- and there are other bone issues such as cancer and infections
What Research Says . . .
Bone issues occur most frequently in females, but now in growing numbers of men, between 35 and 65 years of age – the group most prone to osteoporosis or osteoarthritis (and also the age group most prone to hormone imbalances). I’m sure you’ve heard that the cause of osteoporosis and the key to its prevention revolve around calcium, right? It’s also said that the reason for bone spurs and kidney stones is an excess of calcium.
Once again, I’m sad to say that nothing could be further from the truth. It may have been once, but that time has also long passed.
While it’s well known that osteoporosis is primarily caused by calcium and mineral deficiency, so it’s not surprising that these ingredients can help, but they are not always the answer. That’s one of the odd things about calcium in the body. It doesn’t always build up where we’d like it to. Calcium deposits are unabsorbed amounts of calcium deposited in soft tissues around the body. So, while it can lead to the development of bone spurs or to osteoarthritis, weak bones and even osteoporosis, you still need other ingredients to get the benefit of this vital nutrient and sometimes these ingredients are just not available for the body to do it’s work.
Sometimes, due to age, weak bone structure, physical activity, poor nutrition, chemical exposure and pH imbalances, we build up areas of what is essentially “dead calcium”, which results in painful bone spurs (also called “osteophytes”) or kidney stones or it can lead to osteoporosis, where the bones become weak. Conventional treatment is risky and unnecessary, especially when the right nutrients can help put your body back on track naturally. At other times, lifestyle, genetics, or a combination of both, conspire to create bone spurs, osteoporosis, or osteoarthritis or other similar issues. In this case, your individual pH may tend toward a more alkaline nature, setting the pieces in place for calcium to build up where you don’t want it.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the main cause of bone spurs is the joint damage associated with osteoarthritis. Bone spurs are most commonly said to be an excess of calcium, however it might simply be an out of balance body not able to utilise the raw ingredients, which agin could pint to absorption, acidity, hormone imbalance, excess toxin exposure or nutritional lack.
Dr Mercola has quoted Dr. Robert Thompson, M.D., who wrote an entire book on this subject called, The Calcium Lie, which explains that bone is comprised of at least a dozen minerals and the exclusive focus on calcium supplementation is likely to worsen bone density and increase your risk of developing osteoporosis or bone spurs! The strange thing about developing bone spurs and the connection to pH is that most people’s diets are so acidic that the body has a tough time keeping things equal and close to a “7” on the pH scale. But it can – and clearly does – happen nonetheless. That’s one of the reasons why pH can be such a deciding factor. As we are often teaching, so much of modern day ill health stems from an unhealthy environment in the gut.
Alternatively, as we’ve already mentioned these issues could be due to hormone imbalance, wherein the body has a shortage of progesterone. Dr John Lee explained in detail how progesterone helps replenishment of bone, which helps with low bone density. It is clear there are progesterone receptors on bone, and that in vitro, progesterone stimulates bone production. (check ouy Dr John Lee and Dr Merrilyn Prior below).
If you want some information on addressing any of those common and easy to rectify issues, contact the person who sent you to this site, or us at email@example.com however for the purpose of providing answers to the most under-optimised solution here are some simple ways you can do it.
- 7 Steps To A Savvy Lifestyle
- Detox Pathways Require Essential Nutrients
- 9 Things That Mess Up Your Homones
- Facts and myths of Osteoarthritis by Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine Specialists USA
Original photo courtesy Jean Henrique Wichinoski on Flickr
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