OSTEOPAROSIS

Osteoporosis is a major problem throughout the world today.

The increase bone mass or density, many steps involving hormones, vitamin and mineral supplementation, load bearing exercise and lifestyle modifications must be undertaken to make a significant impact.

PHYSIOLOGY OF BONE

Bone is a living structure made up of very specialised cells that constantly model and remodel the state of the bones. It is a honeycomb of cells that in the extreme osteoporotic state looks like a torn fishing net. Thus, from a dense mass the breakdown of these cells leaves a most unstable structure that will fracture very easily.

The two types of cells are, osteoclasts that control the modeling/remodeling of the bone by absorbing calcium. Osteoclasts travel through bone tissue and when they come across old bone they dissolve and resorb it, leaving tiny spaces or pores in its place. The second type are the osteoblasts that follow on, lay down new bone, filling the defects caused by the osteoclasts. This goes on through youth to middle age. When the number of osteoblasts outnumber the number of osteoclasts, osteoporosis begins. Thus the whole idea is to increase the number of osteoblasts at the expense of the osteoclasts.

WHY AND WHEN

Treatment for osteoporosis should be started sooner rather than later. To expand on this consider the following facts:

 

AGE RANGEFRACTURE ANYWHEREFRACTURE OF HIP
50-5914.8%3.9%
50-6921.6%8.0%
70-7938.5%24.5%
80+70.0%47.5%

 

Risk of osteoporosis also varies according to genetic and controllable factors. If you have a body weight less than 60kg, had menopause before 45, do less than 4 hours exercise each week, smoke, drink more than two alcoholic drinks per day, and have a low calcium diet, then you are at a high risk to suffer from osteoporosis.

With lifestyle modifications in place, the addition of hormones will have a major impact on the result. The hormones that are required are estrogen, progesterone and testosterone and even DHEA to a lesser extent. Osteoclast activity is decreased by all these hormones.

In osteoporosis, bones lose calcium as well as other minerals and become weaker and increasingly prone to fractures, even after mild impact. The most susceptible bones are those in the hip, shoulder, wrist and spine.

Women’s bones reach their peak in their mid-thirties when a slow decline begins until menopause, when it accelerates at a rate of 1-1.5% per year. As osteoporosis accelerates so rapidly after menopause (or surgical removal of the ovaries), it is apparent that both estrogen and progesterone must play a part in this complex procedure. Bone density rises because estrogen and progesterone act directly on bone tissue to enhance mineral deposition. As their levels drop, bone loss occurs and bone density decreases. If estrogen and progesterone are replaced, bone loss can be reversed. The earlier this replacement therapy is started the better the results.

It should be noted that estrogen acts mainly to stop further bone loss and, as at this point in time, estrogen in itself does not promote bone regrowth. Other studies with regards to the role of testosterone, indicate that it plays a part in the reversal of osteoporosis.

Dr John Lee states “Postmenopausal osteoporosis is a disease of excess bone loss caused by progesterone deficiency and secondly a poor diet, and lack of exercise. Progesterone restores bone mass. Natural Progesterone is an essential factor in the prevention and proper treatment of osteoporosis.”

Over a ten-year period Dr. John Lee found that, in a group of women, of average age 65, who had already experienced considerable bone loss, natural progesterone replacement resulted in remarkable bone density increases. Some increases were 20-25%, while the mean increase was 15.4%. This was over a three-year period where the average loss would be expected to be 4-5%, if they had not been on progesterone.

Long term clinical trials using synthetic estrogen and progesterone showed a result of a 3-5% increase.

However it must be emphasized that taking progesterone is not the complete answer, as diet, weight bearing exercise and lifestyle play a major role in the big picture.

Do the self test for Osteoporosis and Read more about Natural Progesterone