Osteoporosis - A New Disease?
It has been noted that 20 million Americans, mostly women over 45, have osteoporosis, which can lead to sometimes fatal fractures or to becoming permanently crippled. In this age group, osteoporosis is more common than heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and arthritis or breast cancer.
The chiropractic profession has recognized, diagnosed and treated osteoporosis for the past half century. Dietary intake of calcium has been a major part of prevention and reduction. It was recognized nearly from the start, however, that prevention of osteoporosis is the most effective measure. Osteoporosis often is associated with fractures due to the result of calcium loss.
Osteoporosis revolves around calcium, the most common metallic element in the tissues of the body. About all of it is in stored in bones, and provides the strength for bones. It is taken out of the bones and is essential for such important functions as the transmission of nerve impulses, muscle contraction, regulation of heart rhythm, and the chemical activity within all body cells.
Vertebral collapse may occur. Eventually, the typical victim develops the "dowager's hump" as the vertebrae give way. Hip fractures caused by a loss of bone density occur primarily among older women. These fractures can occur with as little trauma as simply stepping off a step or curb. Think back to your grandmother, mother or another older woman somewhere in your life, and remember the typical and frequently seen "dowager's hump." Maybe osteoporosis isn't so "new" after all. And, how much time has an elderly woman we know of fallen down and broken her hip. In reality the hip broke due to osteoporosis and then the patient fell down.
What can be done for osteoporosis?
First of all consider it extremely common. It may not show up on x-rays or lab tests because your body is depleting the calcium out of your bones in order to maintain normal levels in the blood.
It’s important to understand how the body works. If you have a part of your body that you don’t use it will get weaker, stiffer or wither away (like an arm in a cast). If you don’t do things that need to maintain that bone strength, you body will take the minerals out and use them somewhere else - especially if you aren't getting enough from a proper diet.
Taking calcium tablets is good but not all pills are the same. The best way to find out what you should take is to ask a doctor specially trained in nutrition. The majority of doctors (both MD and DC) get about one class in nutrition or less in all their professional training. Who did you ask?