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Overcoming Osteoporosis Naturally: A Functional Medicine Perspective

May 26, 2023

Osteoporosis is a condition characterized by weak and brittle bones, making individuals more susceptible to fractures and injuries. However, with a functional medicine approach, there are natural strategies that can be employed to support bone health and overcome osteoporosis.

In this blog post, we will explore the concepts of bone health, osteoporosis, and osteopenia, the factors contributing to poor bone health, the importance of nutrition and supplementation, the role of exercise, the impact of poor nutrition and soda consumption, and how functional medicine can be applied to address osteoporosis and osteopenia.

What is Bone Health, Osteoporosis, and Osteopenia?

Bone health refers to the overall strength and density of bones, which is essential for maintaining proper skeletal structure and function. Osteoporosis is a condition characterized by reduced bone density and quality, leading to increased susceptibility to fractures. Osteopenia is a precursor to osteoporosis, indicating lower than normal bone density but not as severe as osteoporosis.

What Are Some Contributing Factors to Poor Bone Health?

Various factors contribute to poor bone health, including aging, hormonal imbalances, nutritional deficiencies, sedentary lifestyle, and certain medical conditions. Understanding these factors can help develop effective strategies for overcoming osteoporosis.

What Is The Importance of Good Nutrition and Supplementation with Osteoporosis?

Proper nutrition is crucial for maintaining optimal bone health. Consuming a well-balanced diet rich in calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, and vitamin K is essential. However, supplementation may be necessary to ensure adequate intake when dietary sources are insufficient or to address specific deficiencies.

Research suggests that calcium and other minerals as well as vitamin D  and vitamin K2 supplementation can improve bone density and reduce fracture risk. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine appropriate dosage and form of supplementation based on individual needs.

The Role of Exercise in Preventing Bone Loss?

Exercise plays a pivotal role in preventing bone loss and promoting bone health. Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, jogging, dancing, and strength training, help stimulate bone formation and increase bone density. Incorporating regular exercise into your routine can have a positive impact on bone health and reduce the risk of osteoporosis-related fractures.

Does Drinking Sodas Contributes to Bone Loss?

Excessive consumption of sodas, particularly cola-based drinks, has been associated with lower bone mineral density in older women. Phosphoric acid and caffeine found in sodas can interfere with calcium absorption and increase calcium excretion, negatively impacting bone health. Limiting soda intake and opting for healthier beverage choices can help protect bone density.

Taking a Functional Medicine Approach to Osteoporosis or Osteopenia:

Functional medicine offers a comprehensive and personalized approach to addressing osteoporosis and osteopenia. By focusing on identifying and addressing the underlying causes, functional medicine practitioners aim to develop individualized treatment plans.

Functional medicine assessments often include evaluating hormonal balance, gut health, inflammation markers, and nutrient deficiencies. Through this approach, the root causes of poor bone health can be identified and targeted with personalized interventions.

Overcoming osteoporosis naturally is possible through a functional medicine perspective. Prioritizing proper nutrition, engaging in regular weight-bearing exercises, avoiding excessive soda consumption, and considering appropriate supplementation can support bone health. By embracing a personalized approach and addressing underlying factors through functional medicine principles

To hear Dr. Gupta take a deeper dive on this topic with Dr. Lucas, listen to this podcast episode: Peak Health with Ravi Gupta, MD - Overcoming Osteoporosis Naturally

 

References:
  • NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center. https://www.bones.nih.gov/health-info/bone/osteoporosis/overview
  • National Osteoporosis Foundation. https://www.nof.org/patients/what-is-osteoporosis/
  • NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases National Resource Center.  https://www.bones.nih.gov/health-info/bone/osteoporosis/overview/risk-factors
  • Sözen, T., Özışık, L., & Başaran, N. Ç. (2017). An overview and management of osteoporosis. European Journal of Rheumatology, 4(1), 46–56.
  • Howe, T. E., Shea, B., Dawson, L. J., et al. (2011). Exercise for preventing and treating osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. The Cochrane Database
  • National Osteoporosis Foundation. Exercise for Strong Bones. https://www.nof.org/patients/treatment/exercisesafe-movement/exercise-for-strong-bones
  • Tucker, K. L., Morita, K., Qiao, N., Hannan, M. T., & Cupples, L. A. (2006). Colas, but not other carbonated beverages, are associated with low bone mineral density in older women: The Framingham Osteoporosis Study. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 84(4), 936–942.
  • Fenton, T. R., & Tough, S. C. (2011). Is there a link between soda consumption and osteoporosis? A review of the evidence. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 94(1), 153–164.
  • Weaver, C. M., Alexander, D. D., Boushey, C. J., et al. (2016). Calcium plus vitamin D supplementation and risk of fractures: An updated meta-analysis from the National Osteoporosis Foundation. Osteoporosis International, 27(1), 367–376.
  • Cosman, F., de Beur, S. J., LeBoff, M. S., et al. (2014). Clinician’s guide to prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis International, 25(10), 2359–2381.
  • Genuis, S. J., & Bouchard, T. P. (2012). Combination of Micronutrients for Bone (COMB) Study: Bone density after micronutrient intervention. Journal of Environmental and Public Health, 354151.
  • Hyman, M. (2010). Functional medicine: The ultimate personalized medicine. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 16(1), 6–8.