Updated: Jan 13, 2019
5 Natural Osteoporosis Remedies to Increase Bone Density
What is Osteoporosis?
#Osteoporosis is a disease of the bones that occurs when the body either loses too much of its bone matter. It can also occur when the body does not produce enough new bone matter, and is often a combination of both of these problems. Osteoporosis is most common in women over 50 years old. However, younger men and women alike can develop this condition, although it is most common in older populations as the body loses its ability to maintain and develop strong bones over time. Bones affected by osteoporosis often have small holes, fractures, or weakened areas throughout. This condition can cause chronic pain and often puts those who have it at a much greater risk of injury through breaking or fracturing their weakened bones.
How do I Know if I Have it?
There are many commonly-identified symptoms of osteoporosis. One obvious symptom is the appearance of osteoporotic bone breaks. These breaks and fractures occur in common areas like the hip, along the spine, or in wrist bones. (All of these areas are highly vulnerable to breaks and fractures in patients with osteoporosis.) In addition, limited mobility and difficulty performing common tasks (which may have been easy before) is another telling sign of the possibility of osteoporosis. Another symptom is pain within the bone, which can be permanent in patients. A noticeable loss of height may also be noticed, sometimes combine with a hunched-over posture due to weakening of spinal vertebrae.
How is it Diagnosed?
Osteoporosis is generally diagnosed using a bone mineral density (or BMD) test. BMD tests are performed using a device that measures the patient's current amount of bone mineral within specific body parts such as the hips and spine. These can sometimes be performed using a DEXA scan as well. In addition, most doctors will consult a patient's medical history to determine whether or not osteoporosis is present. It may also be sufficient to perform a simple physical on the patient. Blood and urine tests may also be used in the overall diagnosis. In addition, biochemical markers and x-rays will also be used to determine whether or not bone damage consistent with osteoporosis is present.
Thankfully, osteoporosis itself is not life-threatening. The most important factor in ensuring that a a patient with this condition is making conscious and intentional health decisions that can reduce and reverse the causes of osteoporosis. The good news is that osteoporosis can be reversed in some patients. An average timespan for improving the condition of the disease is around six to twelve weeks of consistent therapy -- keep in mind that preventing and treating the condition is a life-long commitment. It is also important to recognize that in most patients, bone mass does not return to its original condition; the goal is to change one's lifestyle so that the condition does not worsen and become life-threatening.
Some of the best remedies are natural remedies. The benefit of treating osteoporosis naturally is that natural methods are generally free from negative side-effects and work as a lifelong therapy method. In addition, many of the remedies presented here come with many additional health benefits besides simply treating the disease. With that in mind, below are five natural remedies to naturally increase bone density for patients with osteoporosis.
1. Proper Nutrition
Giving your body the nutritional building blocks it needs to heal and repair itself should be your first option as an effective osteoporosis treatment. Make sure that you eat foods that are nutrient-dense, whole, and natural. Protein is one of your biggest priorities. Some good sources of protein are eggs, fish, poultry, beef, and other meats. Some excellent plant-based sources of protein include nuts, seeds, and beans, along with some vegetables. It's also a good idea to include raw, cultured dairy (like kefir) for its high protein and vitamin D content. Foods like broccoli and kale, as well as almonds are high in calcium (which is essential for bone strength.) To help reduce inflammation, it's also a good idea to eat fish high in omega-3 fatty acids.
Exercise can increase bone density in many patients. Rather than aerobic exercise, strength training of any variety should be considered one of the necessary components of osteoporosis remedies. Strength training builds bone mass, but it also has the added benefit of increasing flexibility and mobility. Make sure that you avoid high-impact exercise that involves jumping or twisting. A good strength training expert should be able to treat clients with osteoporosis without further endangering their health.
3. Essential Oils
Essential oils are a relaxing and easy addition to an osteoporosis treatment routine. Applying essential oils topically around affected areas may help with pain or even aid in increasing bone density by enabling you to be consistent with your osteoporosis #exercise routine. Stress is also a bone robber, so decreasing stress is helpful in your bone building plan. There are a myriad of essential oils that may help with pain or treatment, such as wintergreen, cypress, fir, helichrysum, and peppermint, as well as ginger, orange, sage, and lavender is great for reducing stress. Make sure that you use a "carrier oil" like coconut oil to protect your skin when using oils.
While it may sound surprising, getting enough sunshine exposure is one of many natural osteoporosis remedies. Try and get out in the sun for 20 - 30 minutes daily. Exposing large surface areas of skin to sunlight will help your body naturally produce more vitamin D, which is crucial to muscular development and many bodily processes. Getting enough sun also has the added benefit of improving your mood (and perhaps giving you a nice tan.) But don't overdo it as you want to protect from skin cancer and wrinkles.
You may have noticed that many of these treatments are simple and healthy lifestyle changes. The great thing about intentionally making healthy decisions like these is that it improves your health in a holistic sense. Sleep is vital to almost every area of your health, but it's especially important as a method for your body to do the actual work of healing itself and preventing or reducing the effects of osteoporosis. When we sleep, our bodies build and repair muscles and bones, which are a crucial part of osteoporosis treatment.
It's always a good idea to have as much information as possible about treating osteoporosis at your disposal. Consider implementing these suggestions into your daily routine in addition to consulting with your doctor or health professional.