Osteopenia and Osteoporosis

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Of the Ten Million Americans who have Osteoporosis, 80 Percent are Women.

Download the transcription of this podcast.

In episode 59 of the BioBalance Healthcast, Dr. Maupin and Brett Newcomb talk about osteopenia and osteoporosis.

What is Osteoporosis?

  • Thinning of bone density over time
  • Measure bone density against a standard for 29 year old female averages
  • Use of the bell curve as a statistical tool
  • If you are more than 1 up to 2.5 SD out from average you have osteopenia
  • Greater than 2.5 you have osteoporosis

How to Improve Bone Density

  • Testosterone
  • Estrogen
  • Vitamin D
  • Weight Bearing Exercise
  • Calcium in the diet

How Do Bones Become Less Dense?

  • It is normally a slow progressive change in bone thickness that begins in women before menopause and continues after menopause at the rate of 1% of your bone per year

Why Do We Get Osteoporosis?

  • Aging leads to loss of estrogen and testosterone
  • Sedentary Life Style
  • Poor Diet
  • Genetic Predisposition

Marketing Osteoporosis

  • Before the advent of a drug to “cure” osteoporosis, doctors rarely diagnosed the problem
  • A new wonder drug was developed to fight osteoporosis called Fosamax
  • This drug allowed us to focus on treatment rather than avoidance

How to Avoid Getting Osteoporosis

  • Be Male: The key hormones involved are testosterone and estradiol, but it is interesting that men rarely get the disease unless they are on steroids for asthma or another disease
  • Replace estrogen and testosterone naturally
  • Get the best out of your genetic potential

Why is treatment or avoidance so important?

  • Osteoporosis leads to disability, poor posture, chronic pain, broken hips and crushed vertebrae

Other contributors to thin bones

  • There are lifestyle choices and medical treatments that also increase our risk of thin bones
  • Smoking, avoidance of milk in our diet, lack of sunshine and a sedentary lifestyle
  • Amphetamine use, Lupron treatment for Endometriosis, corticosteroid use
  • Some illnesses like removal of our ovaries, anorexia, or premature menopause can also cause osteoporosis

Do osteoporosis drugs really work?

  • Recent studies on bisphosphonates showed that this class of drug that made bones “look” thick on bone density testing. Studies proved that bones were actually fragile and easily fractured.
  • I do not recommend the class of drug that includes, Fosamax, Actonel, and Boniva to my patients until further study answers the question.

What to do instead

  • Bones are responsive to estrogen and testosterone. With these hormones and an adequate diet, you can protect your bones and yourself from disability and pain, and life threatening fractures.

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