In order to deal properly with bone loss we need to understand and — if possible — remove the underlying causes and risk factors. We need to ask: "What else is going on inside the body that might allow bone loss to develop?"
Accurate diagnosis of the factors behind bone loss consists of three steps:
|Increased Folic Acid Need||22%||Unlikely|
|Excess Protein Consumption||16%||Unlikely|
|High Cortisol Levels||2%||Ruled out|
|Gluten Sensitivity||0%||Ruled out|
|Atrophic Gastritis||0%||Ruled out|
|Ulcerative Colitis||0%||Ruled out|
Has a bone scan, X-ray or specialty urine test indicated that bone loss (Osteoporosis) is a problem for you?
Possible responses:→ Have not had this test / don't know
→ No bone loss indicated (normal)
→ Bone loss indicated / not currently losing bone
→ Bone loss indicated / currently losing bone
→ Significant loss indicated / losing at a high rate
Acidic diets (high in protein and refined food) will cause bone calcium leaching in order to maintain your blood pH balance. Chronic leeching of calcium from the bones increases the likelihood of osteoporosis. [Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 2001: 73, pp.118-122, Lancet 1968:1, pp.958-959]
A study concluded that reduced mineralization occurs even in asymptomatic celiac patients, and that early diagnosis and treatment can prevent bone demineralization. [Am J Gastroenterol 1994;89: pp.2130-4]
Patients may have thinning of the bones without symptoms, but with risk of fractures.
Some 30% of men with spinal osteoporosis have long-standing testosterone deficiency, and one-third of men with testosterone deficiency have subnormal bone density that puts them at risk of fractures.
Individuals with osteoporosis sometimes have low blood levels of manganese. [Raloff J. Reasons for boning up on manganese. Science Sep 1986, 199 [review]]
A sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of suffering from osteoporosis later in life. Exercise strengthens bones – inactivity encourages the body not to rebuild unused resources.
The common medical complications of anorexia/starvation include osteoporosis.
Stomach acid is required to enhance the absorption of minerals such as calcium. Reduced calcium absorption encourages bone loss.
When body stores of calcium are low, the body must draw calcium from the bones in order to avoid serious complications.
The evidence is overwhelming: smoking boosts bone loss and is therefore a risk factor for osteoporosis and for bone fractures in general.
Excess salt and sugar, found in junk foods, leach calcium from the bones into the urine.
If a woman is not ovulating she may have lower estrogen and progesterone levels. Low estrogen levels can increase the activity of osteoclasts (bone breakdown cells) while low progesterone has been shown to increase PMS symptoms and slow bone deposition. Also, to provide the extra calcium needed when faced with intense stress situation, cortisol can directly stimulate bone breakdown cells. Unchecked over a long period of time, high cortisol levels can cause you to lose bone faster than you can rebuild it.
High protein intakes may lead to loss of calcium, leading in turn to the development of osteoporosis.
Fluorides destroy collagen, which is the glue that adds strength to the bones.
Folate (folic acid) and the B-vitamins involved in homocysteine conversion (such as B12 and B6) may be beneficial in reducing the risk of osteoporosis because high levels of homocysteine are implicated in chronic diseases such as osteoporosis.
Untreated hyperthyroidism accelerates bone resorption, reduces bone density, and over time increases the risk of osteoporosis.
People with hypothyroidism can develop osteoporosis if they are taking too much thyroid hormone.
Trace minerals are necessary for the transport and absorption of calcium.
According to researchers, women with rheumatoid arthritis have up to double the risk of developing osteoporosis and those who use steroid drugs to help control the arthritis are at an even higher risk of bone loss. [Arthritis and Rheumatism, March 2000]
Cortisol – a hormone produced by the adrenal gland during periods of intense physical exercise – interferes with bone-building and reduces bone density by breaking down bone faster than it is made.
Scientists believe osteoporosis may occur when the immune system triggers inflammation in other parts of the body. These problems are usually mild and go away when the colitis is treated.
Researchers at the University of California devised a study to determine if low levels of vitamin B-12 might be associated with bone loss in older women. Results showed that women with the lowest levels of B-12 had a significantly higher risk of bone loss and fractures compared to women with the highest levels. The researchers also noted that for some women, B-12 supplements may help slow the rate of bone loss.