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The Lowdown on Osteoporosis, Part 1

model of a spineGood morning! Dr Kelly here. First off, Osteoporosis is a chronic condition.It is not something that can be corrected with a magic pill. It is something that can be slowed down and limited. Your bones provide structural support and are the storage house for minerals.

Over 10 million Americans have been diagnosed with Osteoporosis. Women are more likely to get it, but men can also have it. It literally can sneak up on anyone. You just can’t throw Calcium at it and expect your body to reverse. You need to be vigilant. A long-term approach with 24/7 care for your body is what is needed.

What Causes Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is defined as a condition in which the bones become brittle and fragile. The Big Question is why? The #1 cause of osteoporosis in my opinion is underlying inflammation. Inflammation prevents your bones from functioning properly.

Other causes of Osteoporosis are:

  • Nutrient deficiencies: not having enough or too much of one nutrient (which can be an effect of inflammation)
  • Lifestyle factors: stress, lack of movement, sugar imbalances, toxins (all of which can cause inflammation)
  • Hormone imbalance: low estrogen
  • Medications: prevacid or prednisone

A Cycle of Breaking Down & Rebuilding

Bones are under a delicate balance of breaking down and rebuilding. Remember bones are living, growing tissues that are constantly changing. At any one time about 2-5% of your skeleton is being rebuilt.

OsteoCLAST cells break down old bone. OsteoBLAST cells rebuild that old bone with new strong bone. The problem occurs when the breaking down and the rebuilding of bone become out of balance.

A DEXA scan is the medical method of diagnosing Osteoporosis. It measures your level of bone mineral density. A T score of >2.5 = osteoporosis. DEXA scans are very safe.

A mammogram is around 450 sieverts of radiation, where a DEXA scan is only 1-5 sieverts. Getting a scan earlier gives you more time to make changes and prevent osteoporosis. Some doctors recommend getting scanned as early as 45 years old.

I want you to remember that a DEXA scan tells you your bone density, not your fracture risk! Yes, the less dense your bones, the more likely you can fracture a bone. However, you must assess your risk factors. What are your chances of falling, do the medications you take cause osteoporosis, do you have GI issues, etc. Your age and any history of breaking a bone as an adult are more important than your T-score.

Bone loss is only one symptom of a greater story of ill health. An Osteoporosis diagnosis needs to be followed up with additional lab testing. CMP, CBC, Vit D, AM urine pH, Urine Ca, Celiac profile, Bone Resorption Marker, Homocysteine, hsCRP, possibly lipid peroxides and 8OH2dG.

Once the doctor has a good picture of where your overall health is at, a proper care plan can be recommended.
Retest in 1-2 years to monitor and make any necessary changes.

I am trying to convey the importance of addressing the cause of bone loss. I’m not sure if I’m getting the magnitude across. The inflammation needs to be addressed to prevent bone imbalance. You can throw as much calcium at it as possible, but until you address the cause, you are getting only temporary changes. That even applies to taking osteoporosis medication!

What You Can Do

Addressing gut issues can help to prevent going down the road to Osteoporosis. Look out for Part 2 – What to do about it! Ask me at your next visit or attend our Workshop to get a deeper understanding of your osteoporosis.

Our next Osteoporosis Workshop is on February 15th at 11:30am

Yours in Healthy Naturally,

Dr. Kelly

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