Osteoporosis is a condition that causes bones to become weak and brittle. Most people with osteoporosis don’t know they have it until their bones have been weakened and even fractured. To note, certain diseases, procedures and even treatments can be precursors to deteriorating bone health. Here are 25 of them, as well as ways to counteract their bone-deteriorating effects.
- Multiple sclerosis (MS) – Studies have shown that people with MS often have reduced levels of vitamin D in their bodies. This causes the kidney to take calcium from the bones to maintain the body’s pH. Taking vitamin D supplements can counteract this effect.
- Esophagitis, esophageal reflux and chronic heartburn – These conditions require proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) for treatment. Not only do PPIs get in the way of the stomach’s ability to digest calcium from food, but studies also have linked these drugs to an increased risk of the symptoms they’re supposed to treat. Fortunately, you can improve calcium absorption by taking calcium citrate.
- Multiple myelomas, monoclonal gammopathy of uncertain significance (MGUS) and systemic mastocytosis – These diseases cause lesions in bones, causing calcium to move into the bloodstream, causing bones to feel painful and break. Natural approaches – including proper diet, exercise and calcium, magnesium and vitamin D supplementation – can work well with these diseases.
- Rheumatoid arthritis – If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you’re more likely to develop a bone fracture, such as in the hip or the spine. Spending more time exercising and doing tai chi can improve your motor functions and strengthen your bones.
- Liver disease – An article in Therapeutic Advances in Endocrinology and Metabolism revealed that about 40 percent of people with liver disease experience osteoporosis-related bone fractures due to the liver’s central role in regulating hormones, including ones that affect the bones. If you have liver disease, be sure to get regular screenings for bone-related conditions. You can help your liver by supplementing with calcium and vitamin D, maintaining a healthy diet, and avoiding risk factors such as smoking and alcohol consumption.
- Seizures – Drugs used to counteract seizures interfere with the body’s ability to process vitamin D. If you’re taking phenobarbital, phenytoin or carbamazepine, consider natural alternatives that don’t have this side effect. (Related: Anti-seizure drug linked to birth defects.)
- Chronic kidney disease – This condition removes calcium from the body, significantly impacting bone development. Furthermore, kidney disease leads to muscle weakness, increasing your risk of falling and getting a fracture. This is a complicated condition, and you should consider consulting with your natural health practitioner for naturopathic treatment.
- HIV and hepatitis B treatments – Many drugs used to treat HIV and hepatitis B alter kidney function, causing calcium to be diverted away from the bones. Consider calcium and vitamin D supplementation to counteract their effects.
- Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis – These are inflammatory bowel diseases that destroy the bones and interfere with the body’s ability to take in bone-nourishing vitamins. The generally agreed treatment, corticosteroids, can usually make things worse. Improving your diet by eliminating sugar, grains and processed foods and supplementing with vitamin D can prevent brittle bones.
- Anorexia – People with anorexia don’t absorb the nutrients they need for healthy bones, such as calcium and magnesium. Taking supplements alone won’t restore their impaired metabolic function. Anorexia patients also need protein and carbs in their diet. They should also consider therapy to counteract their aversion to healthy foods.
- Lupus – Lupus patients have to avoid the sun because it can trigger their symptoms. As such, they tend to have low levels of vitamin D. Furthermore, lupus creates inflammation that destroys bone structures. Taking vitamin D supplements can increase your inadequate levels of this bone-strengthening vitamin.
- Hepatitis C – Even when hepatitis C doesn’t progress to giving you cirrhosis, it can still cause osteoporosis. Natural treatments for osteoporosis, such as eating a healthy, calcium and vitamin D-rich diet and exercising, can counteract this.
- Loop diuretics – Loop diuretics are usually prescribed when congestive heart failure or chronic kidney disease causes hypertension or edema, leading to depleted levels of calcium in the body and loss of bone mineral density. Instead of loop diuretics, consider natural diuretics such as coffee and black cumin.
- Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) – Approximately 50 percent of people with AS have reduced bone mineral density, and another 25 percent have osteoporosis. Vitamin D supplementation coupled with weight-bearing exercises can improve your bone mineral density if you have AS.
- Heparin – Heparin is a blood thinner associated with decreased bone mineral density. Consider switching to a natural blood thinner like turmeric, ginger or garlic.
- Idiopathic hypercalciuria – Idiopathic hypercalciuria causes the kidneys to excrete too much calcium, weakening the bones. This makes the body’s vitamin D levels too high to be healthy. Consumption of rice bran has been suggested as a natural treatment.
- Hereditary hemochromatosis and beta-thalassemia – These two diseases overload your body with iron, which damages bone. Chelation therapy, which removes heavy metals from your system, can get rid of the excess iron in your body.
- Celiac disease – Bone disease complicates celiac disease, as it harms your ability to absorb calcium, magnesium and other bone-supporting nutrients. Luckily, a healthy diet rich in vitamin D and calcium can easily solve this.
- Gastric bypass surgery – Patients who undergo gastric bypass surgery often experience osteoporosis due to complications with the procedure that lead to them not getting the right nutrition. Transforming their lifestyle into a healthier one with more natural, calcium and vitamin D rich foods can deal with these complications.
Many of the problems that cause osteoporosis can be solved naturally. This means a radical transformation of lifestyles to accommodate a healthier diet and proper exercise. This also means getting rid of grains, processed foods and added sugars.
- Natural remedies for osteoporosis: What are the science-based health benefits of red clover?
- The glossy privet fruit, a popular Chinese herbal medicine, can prevent osteoporosis in menopausal women
- Green Tea could Naturally Prevent and Treat Osteoporosis, Scientists Say
- Vitamin D Deficiency Puts Inflammatory Bowel Disease Patients at Greater Risk of Osteoporosis, Study Finds