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Poor Health Makes Osteoporosis Common in the U.S.

Thursday, May 20, 2010 by: Alice E. Marson
Tags: osteoporosis, health, health news

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(NewsTarget) In the U.S. 10 million have been diagnosed with osteoporosis and nearly 50 percent of all women between the ages of 45-70 suffer from it to some degree. Osteoporosis is a weakening of the bones whereby they become brittle and can easily fracture. (Osteo means porous bones). Thirty-four million have low bone mass or osteopenia, a precursor to osteoporosis. As a general condition in the U.S., it is much less common in cultures that have more healthy lifestyles. Osteoporosis mostly affects Caucasian women, especially post-menopausal women; however, it is less prevalent in men. The most common fracture sites are the spine, hip, and wrist according to the Harvard Women's Health Watch (August 2004). Osteoporosis is responsible for approximately 1.5 million fractures annually.

There are conflicting theories about the cause of osteoporosis. Many researchers believe that it is brought on by faulty diet and lifestyle habits. Root causes, in addition to smoking, are inactivity, poor diet, hormone deficiencies and imbalances, heredity and others. Uses of certain medications, such as antacids, thyroid, lithium, lasix, and chemotherapy are contributing causes. Certain drugs, such as steroids, like prednisone, may increase the risk of osteoporosis. This includes inhaled steroids for asthma or COPD.

A combination of a good diet full of extra calcium, adequate exercise and nutritional supplements are important for healthy bones. Recommended foods are those high in calcium and other nutrients, such as green leafy vegetables (except spinach), soybeans, nuts, molasses, salmon, oysters, sardines (with the bones), broccoli, unsweetened cultured yogurt, walnuts, almonds, flaxseed and fish; diet is important for strong, healthy bones. Foods to avoid are: sugar, red meat, salt, processed foods and meats, caffeine, alcohol, refined grains, and soda pop. Soda pop leaches the calcium out of the bones.

The vitamins and minerals suggested for preventing or controlling osteoporosis are a high-potency multivitamin, calcium, magnesium, zinc, vitamins C, D (Vitamin D and calcium work together), B6 and B12, vitamin K, essential fatty acids and strontium.

There are many prescription osteoporosis drugs on the market. The annual sales of four of these drugs exceed $3.5 billion. These drugs are effective initially in slowing bone loss but are not without side effects. Side effects common to these drugs are: difficult or painful swallowing, chest pain, heartburn, upper GI disorders, esophageal or gastric ulcers, severe bone/joint/muscle pain, stroke, deep vein thrombosis, risk of bone cancer, allergies and brittle bones after four or more years of use.

The results of two new studies just released (March 2010) revealed that after four or more years of taking these drugs, originally very effective in slowing bone loss, the quality of bone diminished. About fifty women to date (not particularly seniors) have suffered fractured femurs (the largest bone in the body) by merely stepping off a curb. Dr. Kenneth Egol, professor of orthopedic surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center, called these spontaneous fractures.

Melvin Rosenwasser, chief of orthopedic trauma surgery at Columbia University Medical Center in New York said, "These drugs are good drugs. They strengthen bone and protect you from fractures for a while. But in some people they can become deleterious after a period of time."

New research reveals why you should not clip your cell phone to your belt or pocket. The research warns that wearing a cell phone on your waist or hip may weaken an area of your pelvis. Researchers find bone density is lowered on the side where the mobile phone is carried. Bone density can be affected by electromagnetic fields emitted by a cell phone.


About the author

Alice E. Marson is a natural health published author and researcher. She is a retired teacher and writes for Mature Living and ActiveAmericans.com mainly on health topics.
As a breast cancer survivor she is a strong believer in natural and alternative medicine and avoiding prescription drugs.
Alice has given public and TV presentations on toxic products in the home.

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