HOMOEOPATHIC REMEDIES FOR OSTEOPOROSIS
Osteoporosis is a condition where your bones become weak and are thus more likely to break. Your bones lose calcium and the insides become porous , like a honey comb. Technically speaking this is called losing bone mass . People with low bone mass are more susceptible to breaking bones.
Osteoporosis is the most common cause of fractures. Roughly 10 million individuals over age 50 in the United States have osteoporosis of the hip. An additional 33.6 million individuals over age 50 have low bone mass or “osteopenia” of the hip and thus are at risk of osteoporosis and its potential complications later in life.
Due primarily to the aging of the population, the prevalence of osteoporosis and low bone mass is expected to increase. By 2020, one in two Americans over age 50 is expected to have or be at risk of developing osteoporosis of the hip; even more will be at risk of developing osteoporosis at any site in the skeleton.
Osteoporosis does not affect everyone to the same degree. Women, especially older women, are more likely to get the disease than are men. An estimated 35 percent of postmenopausal White women have osteoporosis of the hip, spine, or distal forearm. That said, men, especially elderly men, can and do get osteoporosis.
The age-adjusted prevalence of osteoporosis and the rate of hip fracture are lower in Black women than in White women in the United States. The prevalence of osteoporosis in Hispanic and Asian women is similar to that found in White women, and the incidence of hip fractures among Hispanic women in California appears to be on the rise. However, it is important to remember that osteoporosis is a real risk for any aging man or woman.
Osteopenia —After having a bone test, your doctor may tell you that you have Osteopenia. Osteopenia is not a disease , but just the technical term for having lower than normal bone density. Your bone density is lower than is normal and safe, but not so low that osteoporosis is indicated. Roughly 34 million women and 12 million men have Osteopenia in the US.
Low bone mass can be caused by variety of factors including , but not limited to :
· Non- ideal bone mass development during adolescence
Having low bone mass does not mean you will develop osteoporosis, however your risk to develop this disease and the associated fractures greatly increases.
Causes—Actually there is no single factor that causes osteoporosis. Rather, there are numerous risk factors that contribute.
Aging- Bone loss inevitably starts to happen as we get older. Bone is a living tissue that is always growing and being replaced. Most people reached their maximum bone mass density in their mid thirties. Afterwards , the rate at which bone degrades and is removed starts to become larger than the rate that new bone is created.On average I % of bone mass is lost per year starting around age 40
Hormones-The female hormoneestrogen plays an important role in osteoporosis. Women need estrogen to keep their bones strong , and estrogen production falls for all women once menopause starts. In women, bone loss can reach much higher levels about 3-5 %, during the first 5-6 years in post menopause.About one out of every three postmenopausal women has osteoporosis to some degree, even mild osteoporosis leads to an increased risk of fractures, particularly of the hip, vertebrae and wrists. Fractures can have serious consequences as well. About 20 percent of elderly women who undergo hip replacement surgery due to a hip fracture die within one year. And half of those who survive will require full-time nursing care.
Genetics-Heredity is a factor and people with a history of osteoporosis in their family should be diligent in monitoring their bone mass density. Heredity also plays a factor in the skeleton structure you begin with. Individuals who naturally have skinnier, less dense skeleton structures are more prone to osteoporosis since they will have less bone mass to begin as they enter middle / old age.
Physical activity-Like muscles bones are living tissue that need exercise in order to remain strong and healthy. Stress from physical activity –whether it comes normal every day activities like walking or from physical training – exerts force on your bones. Your bones respond by restructuring and building up bone. Just like muscles , if you are inactive , your bones become weaker since there is nothing for the to respond to. Use it or lose it.
Diet-Calcium , vitamin D, and phosphorus are all critical building blocks for bone. If your diet is lacking in these foods , this can contribute to osteoporosis
Smoking - The relationship between bone loss and smoking has been confirmed by numerous studies. However, once you quit smoking, even later in life, the bone loss influenced by this habit can be minimized.
Excessive alcohol intake - People who drink alcohol to excess are more prone to fractures. This may be partially due to the diuretic effect of alcohol, which induces calcium losses through the urine. Alcohol can also decrease the absorption of calcium from the intestines and cause deficiencies in vitamin D and magnesium - both of which are important to bone health.
High sodium intake - Several studies have demonstrated the harmful effects of high dietary sodium on bone integrity. Reducing sodium intake can reduce bone loss considerably.
Coffee - Coffee consumption of more than two cups a day may contribute to accelerated bone loss.
High consumption of animal protein - Some studies have shown that a diet high in animal protein actually promotes bone loss by leaching calcium from the bones, although the verdict is still out on this issue.
A high acid-ash diet - Recent research has suggested that eating an acid-ash producing diet (high in animal protein and grains, low in vegetables and fruit) causes an increase in urinary excretion of calcium, leading to bone loss.
Medications - Certain medications, such as cortisone, corticosteroids, thyroid supplements, anticoagulants and anticonvulsants can interfere with calcium absorption, that may contribute to bone demineralization.
Illness-Additionally other illness such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and hypothyroidism can cause bone loss.
Certainly men are not immune to osteoporosis. Bone loss is more gradual in men, but once they reach age 70 their risk for osteoporosis increases significantly. Men in this age group are at increased risk for fractures.
Symptoms of osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is often called a silent disease as it does not have any obvious external symptoms until a fracture occurs. In a recent study , nearly half of women age 50 or older had osteoporosis or low bone mass density and did not know it. You may not know you have osteoporosis until you actually have a serious sign such as breaking a broken or fractured bone, lower back pain, or a hunched back. Breaking a bone occurs while doing normal activity such as climbing stairs , bending forward , or lifting objects.
Osteoporosis can affect any bone in your body , but tends to occur most frequently in the hip, waist, and spine. Osteoporosis in the vertebrae of the spine is a very serious problem.
Symptoms of osteoporosis in your vertebrate include:
· Height loss- osteoporosis leads to vertebrae in your spine collapsing and actually making you shorter.
· Back pain
· Curved or hunched back
· Sloping shoulders
If you are elderly , a broken hip makes up to four times more likely to die within three months. If you survive , the injury often cause your health to spiral downward. One in five people with a hip fracture ends up in a nursing home within a year. Many others become isolated , depressed, or frightened to leave home because they fear they will fall.
Radiological evidence of decreased bone mass is more reliable, but about 30 percent of the bone mass must be lost before it becomes apparent on X- rays. Following features may be noted on X- rays
· Loss of vertical height of a vertebra due to collapse
· Cod fish appearance- The dish bulges in to the adjacent vertebral bodies so that the disc becomes biconvex
· Ground glass appearance of the bones, conspicuous in bones like the pelvis
· Singh’s index- Singh et al. graded osteoporosis in to 6 grades based on the trabecular pattern of the femoral neck trabeculae
Metacarpel index and vertebral index are other methods of qualification of osteoporosis.
These include the following , some of them more recent:
· Biochemistry : Serum calcium, phosphates and alkaline phosphatase are within normal limits. Total plasma proteins and plasma albumin may be low.
· Densitometry : This is a method of quantify osteoporosis. In this method absorption of photons ( emitted from gamma emitting isotopes ) by the bone calcium is measured. Two types of bone densitometry are available – ultrasound based and X-ray based . DEXNA scan is an X-ray based bone densitometry , and is the gold standard in the quantification of bone mass.
· Neutron activation analysis : In this method ,calcium in the bone is activated by neutron bombing , and its activity measured.
· Bone biopsy
Homoeopathic remedies are very effective for treating osteoporosis. Some of the important remedies are given below
CALCAREA PHOS 30- Calcarea phos is one of the top homoeopathic medicines in curing osteoporosis. Here the bones are delicate and easily breakable.The bones of the head are deficient in quality and quantity. This will promote the absorption of calcium from the food that the patient takes. The bones of the neck are too small and weak to support the head which is normally large. The bones of the extremities are also weak and fragile.
Calcarea phosphorica is an excellent medicine for treating curvature of spine in osteoporosis patients. It is mainly given to those patients of osteoporosis who have weak spine and soft bones which lead to curvature of spine .Such patients are unable to support their body. This homeopathic medicine is also used if anaemia is present along with curvature of spine in osteoporosis patients. Calcarea phosphorica is also prescribed in curvature of spine when associated backache which is worse in cold weather and from exertion . Stools green, undigested and offensive. No appetite, it is a bone builder and creates new blood cells. It gives general tone to the entire organism.
CALCAREA CARB.30-Calcarea carb. is often helpful to individuals who are easily tired by exertion and tend to feel anxious and overwhelmed from work or stress. The person may be chilly, flabby or overweight, and feel worse from cold and dampness. Back pain, swollen joints, and a sweaty head at night are often seen. People who need this remedy often have strong cravings for both eggs and sweets.
CACAREA FLOUR. 30—Calcarea flour. Is prescribed when cracking in the joints is present. Easy joint dislocation . Swelling and indurated enlargements haing their seat in the tissue and ligaments, tendons of joints. Chronic lumbago. Lumbago worse on beginning to move and ameliorated on continued motion.Better from rubbing, warm application
SYMPHYTUM OFFICINALE 30—Symphytum officinale is the top remedy for treating fractures in osteoporosis. Symphytum officinale is commonly known as ‘knit bone’ and as the name represents it helps in knitting/uniting the fractured bone by increasing the callous production. This remedy helps in union of fractured bone very efficiently. Fractures where patients complain of pricking type of pain at fractured site can be greatly relieved by this medicine. Symphytum can also help in reducing the irritability at the site of fracture .
RUTA GRAVEOLENS 30- Ruta Graveolens is another effective remedy employed in the treatment of fractures in osteoporosis.Whenever a bone gets fractured the surrounding tendons and ligaments of bones also get damaged. This medicine helps in healing torn tendons and ligaments. It also helps in repairing the damaged bone. This homeopathic remedy helps in decreasing the pain, soreness and stiffness around fractured area mainly wrist fracture
HYPERICUM PERFORATUM 30--Hypericum perforatum is the another useful Homeopathic medicine that can be used with confidence for the excessive pain in back due to crushing of nerves in between damaged vertebral bones. The excessive pains and sensitiveness in back after fracture of vertebral bones that are worse by slight motion of neck or arms ,can be efficiently controlled by Hypericum .
SILICEA 200-Silicea is another excellent that can cure of fracture in osteoporosis patients. Silicea is usually prescribed in those patients of osteoporosis in which the disease is due to defective assimilation of calcium . In such cases Silicea is of considerable use and it helps by enhancing the assimilation power of digestive system. Silicea is also very helpful where pus or fistula formation has occurred at the site of fracture. Silicea helps in efficient union of broken bone and it also held in removing bone splinters.
PHOSPHORUS 30- Phosphorus can also give best results in curvature of spine in patients of osteoporosis if burning sensation in spine is present along with curvature. Phosphorus is also useful for pain and weakness of spine. The patient feels intense pain in spine , as if the spine was broken.
SULPHUR 200-Sulphur is utilised in those patients of osteoporosis who develop curvature of spine and walk and sit in a stooping position. Curvature of spine when associated with backache is effectively treated with this natural remedy. Another marked feature Sulphur is excessive heat sensation in body especially soles of feet alongwith pain and curvature of spine .
FLUORIC AICD 30-Fluoric acid is effective when stabbing pain in bone is present which is worse at night
AURUM METALLICUM 30- Osteoporosis with pain worse at night. Pain mainly in the skull, nose or palate .