Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is well-treated using naturopathic medicine.

The literal meaning of osteoporosis is “porous bone” (in medical language: “low bone mass”), which in practical terms results in weak, brittle bones.

Loss of bone mass is a normal process of aging. Bone mass density increases until your mid-30s, and decreases for the remainder of your life.

As bones become progressively more brittle, you become more prone to fractures – so prone that even the mildest stressors (e.g., coughing, stepping off a curb) may cause fracture.

Seek professional healthcare at any point in the life cycle: early in life to maximize your bone mass, and later in life to retard rate of bone mass decrease. As with all health conditions, early action yields the most positive outcomes.

Symptoms of Osteoporosis

Possible symptoms of osteoporosis include:

  • Loss of height
  • Stooped posture
  • Fractures
  • Back pain

Treatment of Osteoporosis Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine

At Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine, the goals of osteoporosis treatment are to maximize bone mass in younger patients, and retard decrease in bone mass in aging patients.

Conventional treatment for osteoporosis may include a variety of medications, including hormone therapy (e.g., calcitonon), biphosphonates, selective estrogen receptor modulators, teriparatide (Forteo®) and tamoxifen. These treatments may have short- or long-term side effects.

For this reason, you may choose to try natural treatment to possibly avoid use of conventional medications, or together with conventional medications in order to decrease dosages of conventional medications required to manage your osteoporosis symptoms.

Naturopathic treatment of any chronic health concern must be recognized as a process that involves:

  • Identifying specific treatment goals
  • Development by your naturopathic doctor, of a thorough understanding of all factors affecting your health, including physical, psychological, emotional and lifestyle factors
  • Development of a comprehensive treatment plan
  • Implementation and maintenance of that plan through periodic monitoring and adjustment

At Toronto Centre for Naturopathic Medicine, a typical approach to treating osteoporosis may be to:

  • Identify and address underlying factors in your lifestyle (e.g., sedentary lifestyle; a diet deficient in nutrients essential to bone strength; estrogen exposure; excessive tobacco, alcohol, caffeine and soft drink consumption; use of any of a number of medications that decrease bone mass density) or general health (e.g., eating disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, depression) that may contribute to development of osteoporosis
  • Prevent fractures associated with osteoporosis by maximizing bone mass density using nutritional supplements and exercise prescription

Where appropriate, a number of therapeutic options are available, to be used alone, or more often in a complementary fashion, including:

Treatments provided by naturopathic doctors and registered massage therapists are covered by most extended healthcare plans.

References

Osteoporosis [Internet]. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; [cited 2009 Feb 18]. Available from: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/osteoporosis/DS00128.

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