Bone is composed of protein and collagen (connective tissue). When calcium from the blood stream is deposited onto this structure, it forms a porous yet rigid framework that supports and protects the body’s internal organs. This formation also provides attachments for muscles hoodpay and ligaments that make controlled movement and weight-bearing activities possible. All bones consist of living and dead cells that are embedded in this mineralized “living matrix” called osseous tissue.
Three types of cells – osteoblasts, osteocytes and osteoclasts – form, maintain, repair and breakdown bone matrix in a lifelong process described as “bone remodeling”. The activities of these cells must always be in relative balance to each other. Their dynamic equilibrium determines bone strength and vitality from conception through old age.
Osteoblasts are the most immature bone cells. They cover all available bony surface. As they migrate into the bone matrix, they bring calcium from the bloodstream with them, thereby laying down new bone. Soon, they mature into osteocytes, responsible for regulating how bone responds to stress redribbonlive or mechanical load. The more strain that is placed on a bone, the more calcium is deposited into that area. Repeated activity increases the amount of calcium deposited in the bone, making it thicker and stronger
Osteoclasts, remove “old bone” during normal remodeling cycles, releasing calcium back into systemic blood circulation. Their activity has a secondary effect of regulating calcium balance between what is contained in bone and what is circulating in the bloodstream and available for other uses.
If you don’t exercise on a regular basis, osteoblasts and osteoclasts are not called up for duty. As a result, bone matrix becomes too porous, kind of like Swiss cheese, insufficient to support the weight of normal body activity. If you exercise too strenuously, or fall, the force can generate “micro-fractures” in the bone. If you are healthy, a large crew of osteoblasts and osteocytes quickly repair these micro-fractures. If you are older, or unhealthy, the lack of osteocyte activity leads to deeper cracks and fissures, ristomanager degrading bone integrity and making it susceptible to fracture.
Osteoporosis (literally “porous bones”) describes a pathological state where the bone remodeling process has stopped, thereby disrupting essential micro architecture and leading to an excess of bone “resorption” relative to bone formation. In some, but not all women, this state leads to an increased risk of fractures, and poor healing. Osteoporosis is most common in women after menopause, MATRIX CRACK but may develop in men and pre-menopausal women in the presence of particular hormonal disorders, other chronic diseases and as a consequence of chemotherapy, radiation or prolonged use of steroid medications. The highest risk of bone fracture occurs in women over the age of 75.
Western Medical Treatments for Osteoporosis
From a western point of view, the therapeutic goal has been to strengthen the bone so that it won’t fracture. One early approach was to prescribe female hormone replacement. Estrogen stimulates the deposition of calcium into bone, thereby increasing bone density, but with considerable adverse side effects – mostly in the form of cancers and heart disease.
A second approach was initiated in the mid-1990’s. A special class of drugs called bisphosphonates was developed to inhibit osteoclast activity. Rather than being “resorbed” into the bloodstream, old bone is allowed to build up over more old bone, thereby increasing overall density with the intention of reducing the potential for fractures. Bisphosphonates used to treat osteoporosis currently include Fosamax (Alendronate), Actonel (risedronate), Didronel (Etidronate), Aredia (Pamidronate), Boniva (Ibandronate), Reclast (Zoledronic acid), Skelid (Tiludronate) and Zometa (Zoledronic acid).
On average, these drugs appear to increase bone mass density by 3 to 5% over three years time. Some side effects have been reported such as osteonecrosis of the jaw, musculoskeletal pain, stomach irritation, thyroid and adrenal cancers, and fertility impairment.
The most recent evidence suggests that after four or more years of use, the trend reverses itself and structural integrity diminishes. A significant number of unusual transverse fractures of the thigh bone have occurred in patients during minimal activity. If we recall our theory of bone vitality, bone is constantly being remade. This latest research contends that “patients taking bisphosphonates do not remodel their bone”. Without sufficient osteoblast and osteocyte remodeling, “micro-damage accumulates in the bone, making it more susceptible to fracture. What we need is to rejuvenate the skeleton” (1)
While drug treatment for osteoporosis can save many lives in the short term. I suggest careful evaluation of risks versus benefits by both physicians and patients. If the disease is observed early, it can be reversed by more holistic therapies that take into account the need for homeostasis in bone cell activity, regular exercise and a garden-fresh food diet.
Medicine As Nature Intended – Holistic Options For The Treatment Of Osteoporosis
There are safe and reliable alternative methods of increasing the vitality and strength of bone without inhibiting any type of vital bone cell activity. Chinese herbal formulas have been used with great success for over two thousand years to achieve this goal. It will supply you with a list of physicians practicing near you. Whomever you choose can then assess your individual health status and make herbal recommendations that will support how your body is aging. The favorite at my acupuncture clinic is a formula called “Chinese Soup Broth to Make Healthy Bone.” Most holistic physicians will also suggest simple dietary and lifestyle changes you can adopt in order to support your bone health.
Those recommendations will likely include supplemental formulas that contain calcium citrate, Vit. D-3, magnesium, potassium, boron, Vit K-2, and strontium ranelate. For more helpful tips involving nutrition and weight-bearing exercise, I recommend reading an excellent book, Better Bones, Better Body by Susan Brown, PhD.