In the first part of my post about osteoporosis, I discussed what osteoporosis is, how it commonly leads to crippling spinal and hip fractures, and how doctors diagnose and identify the causes of osteoporosis.
While many of these causes can be lifestyle-related – poor diet, lack of exercise, stress, tobacco and alcohol excess, and long-term medication use – osteoporosis is very often a downstream disorder resulting from a systemic breakdown in our bodies.
Our body is made up of a number of systems. Over time, these systems can become dysfunctional or damaged. When this occurs, the brain takes over and prioritizes the most important area of need in our bodies. Because our bones store essential nutrients and minerals like calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium, the body will often “rob” these substances from our bones to repair the system in need.
This is why osteoporosis is not simply the loss of calcium from bone. It’s the result of our body’s intelligent design and its response to long-term imbalance. When nutrients and minerals are absorbed back into the bloodstream, our bones can become weak, brittle, shallow, or porous.
In fact, the literal definition of osteoporosis is “porous bone.”
For example, the heart is a muscle that needs calcium in order to beat. If an insufficient amount of calcium in getting to the heart, the brain will most likely decide that the heart beating is more of a priority than keeping calcium stored in the bone, causing the body to rob calcium from our bones, put it into our blood stream, and target the heart.
This is just one example of how osteoporosis is a downstream effect of a systemic problem in our bodies.
Osteoporosis can also be a secondary effect of disease or other conditions in our bodies, including:
If you have an autoimmune disease like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, osteoporosis may be caused by bone loss from drugs like corticosteroids, Methotrexate, or Heprin, which may be prescribed to treat painful inflammation. We need to balance treatment for the upstream disease, knowing that it may cause a downstream disorder. This is something you should discuss with your doctor.
As we discussed in Part 1, bone is like a bank where withdrawals and deposits are always being made. Old bone is constantly being broken down and reabsorbed by our bodies. The key is to deposit enough nutrients and minerals to replace old bone so it doesn’t become osteoporotic.
Unfortunately, 75 percent of women in our country don’t get the recommended daily allowance of calcium. The situation is even worse among teenage girls because they’re consuming so much soda. Soda, particularly cola, contains phosphates, which tear even more calcium out of the bone.
Osteoporosis may be common among the elderly, but it’s important that we eat a balanced diet exercise regularly and avoid harmful substances from a young age. 85-90 percent of human bone mass is accumulated by the age of 18 or 20. This is the year of the family, and the lessons we teach our children now will have a direct impact on their future health.
If you have any questions about osteoporosis, please post them here or email me privately at email@example.com.