The Fundamentals

A general term for any disease process resulting in reduction of bone mass per unit of volume, and when the reduction is sufficient to interfere with the mechanical function of the bone. Many conditions and diseases may be involved in the process. This condition becomes apparent when the osteoporosis has progressed to a stage at which bones fracture when normally they would not. Most frequently involved are the lower dorsal and lumbar bones, however it may affect any bone, including those of the jaw. Bone loss is just part of the aging process, but it proceeds faster in women, especially following menopause, and is more likely to occur in sedentary individuals. This page focuses on Involutional and Senile Osteoporosis. In Involutional Osteporosis, seen in women between 50 and 70 years old and related to menopause, the trabecular bone is affected. In Senile Osteoporosis, affecting both male and female patients over age 70, the trabecular bone and the cortical bone are affected. These often result in vertebral and hip fractures.

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National Osteoporosis
steoporosis, or "brittle-bone disease" as it is often referred, affects up to 40% of Caucasian women over the age of 50 in the United States. An estimated 20% of osteoporosis cases appear in men. Osteoporosis is a gradual decrease in calcium in the bones that leads to weakness in the bone structure. In time, the bones become porous, and have low bone mass and density. A variety of symptoms including lower back pain, loss of up to several inches in height, and stooped posture may be present in those suffering from osteoporosis, as well as a heightened possibility of bone fractures, especially in the vertebrae and hips. Women generally lose bone mass quickly during the first five to 9 years after menopause. Estrogen replacement therapy has been the most prescribed form of treatment for this condition, but with the treatment comes uncomfortable side effects including hot flashes, sinusitis, muscle pain, leg cramps, blood clots, and weight gain.
Taking early measures to build bone mass can minimize the aging effects on bone. Exercise is the best preventive measure as it builds bone density in the young, and helps to prevent bone loss in later life. But there are many herbal supplements that are extremely helpful in replacing lost nutrients needed for strong bones. Stinging Nettles is an all-around helpful plant and has been referred to as nature's multivitamin. It contains iron, calcium, protein, magnesium, and phosphorous. Because of its high calcium content, Nettles can aid in replacing calcium which is lost during the aging process. Dandelion is a good source of silicon which some studies suggest helps strengthen bone. Additionally, Dandelion is full of calcium. Containing compounds called isoflavones that act like estrogen, Red Clover is the best herbal source for these compounds. Isoflavones are powerful in fighting symptoms of perimenopause and early menopause. Wild Oats are another good source of calcium and are helpful in the prevention of osteoporosis. Since most physicians these days prescribe hormone (or estrogen) replacement therapy (HRT) to treat osteoporosis, there is good reason to try some of the herbs that have been proven helpful with symptoms of menopause. Dong Quai, containing iron and vitamin E, is a well-known Chinese herb that aids in estrogen replacement, or, more precisely, hormone balance. Chaste Tree Berryand Licorice both contain estrogen-like compounds, and Siberian Ginseng and Damiana are both useful as hormone-balancers.
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Note: This information is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the use of a qualified health care professional. We strongly recommend the use of a physician for the diagnostic phase of any treatment. With an accurate diagnosis in hand, we believe the consumer, at that point, has a basic, unalienable right to seek out factual information on all therapeutic approaches, both orthodox and alternative, and choose those approach(es) that are right for them. Nonetheless, a "good doctor" should be considered a requisite starting point.

To U.S. Users: None of the products mentioned on this page have been evaluated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration; therefore, they are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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