MD - Homeopathy
Osteoporosis is a condition characterised by the loss of normal bone density, resulting in fragile bone. It leads to the literally abnormally porous bone that is more compressible like a sponge, than dense like a brick. This disorder of the skeleton weakens the bone causing an increase in the risk of fracture. Normal bone is composed of protein, collagen, and calcium all of which give bone its strength. Bones that are affected by osteoporosis can break with a relatively minor injury that normally would not cause a bone fracture. The fracture can be either in the form of cracking or collapsing. The spine, hips, and wrist are common areas of bone fractures from osteoporosis, although osteoporosis-related fracture can also occur in almost any skeletal bone.
The prevalence of osteoporosis and osteoporotic-related fracture increases markedly with age, reflecting the age-related decline in bone mass and the increased risk of falling in elderly. Fracture-related to osteoporosis are a major public health problem.
The strength of bones can be determined by bone mass density. Generally, the higher the bone density, the stronger are the bones. Bone density is greatly influenced by genetic factors, which in turn are sometimes modified by environmental factors and medications. Normally bone density accumulates during childhood and reaches a peak by around 25. It is then maintained for about 10 yrs. After 35yrs of age, both men and women will normally lose 0.3% to 0.5% of their bone density per year as a part of the ageing process. Estrogen is important in maintaining bone density in women. When estrogen level drops after menopause bone loss accelerates. Accelerated bone loss after menopause is a major cause of osteoporosis in women. Patient with osteoporosis has no or very less sun until a bone fracture occurs.
Osteoporosis: porous bones-
Bones that have thinned from inside due to mineral loss are vulnerable to fractures. However, osteoporosis is both preventable and treatable.
What causes osteoporosis?
A diet lacking in essential nutrients, a hormone imbalance (common after menopause) and lack of regular exercise all contribute to osteoporosis.
Other causes- endocrine disorders such diabetes, thyroid over activity, excessive adrenal or parathyroid hormones, nutritional disorders such as anorexia nervosa, smoking. Certain drugs like corticosteroid, anticonvulsant drugs, sedatives, heparin, alcohol also increase the chances of secondary osteoporosis. Poor diet, low body weight and highly trained athlete.
Osteoporotic fracture- vertebral crush: bone weakness and collapses, leading to height loss. Fractures occur on the front side of the vertebra, causing hunched-over posture.
Hormone and bone growth: oestrogen replacement therapy is often recommended by doctors for post-menopausal women to prevent bone loss. Progesterone and DHEA are hormones vital to bone health.
Do men get osteoporosis?
Yes, but less often than women; 35%of us women and 10% of men age 60 and over have osteoporosis. Men have more bone mass and don't go through drastic hormonal upheavals of menopause.
Astronaut osteoporosis: Space travellers lose bone mass after a long period of weightlessness. The problem is caused by disuse. It is also seen in paralysis victims and people with severe fractures.
Colles fracture: wrist of forearm breaks when a person breaks fall with hands. The hip fracture may lead to serious complications. Up to half of elderly patients end up in nursing homes after hip fracture.
Common symptoms of osteoporosis:
Pain bones and lower back
2. Height loss (average about 1.5 inches every 10yrs after menopause)
3. Night cramps in legs and feet.
4. Dowager is a lump, a forward bending of the spine.
5. Extreme fatigue
A. A history of broken bones especially spine, hip or wrist
B. A family history of osteoporosis
C. Removal of ovaries or loss of periods before the age of 45
D. Primary hyperthyroidism
E. Low body weight, slim, less than 125 lbs
F. Use of steroids, anticonvulsant drugs
H. Age more than 50
I. Post menopause
J. Low level of physical activity
K. A heavy caffeine user, consuming more than 3 cups coffee, tea or cola per day on regular basis.
L. High levels of alcohol intake, more than 2drinks per day
Do's and dont's
The patient should expose his skin to direct sunlight as much as possible.
Food rich in calcium like skimmed milk, natural yoghurt, dried fish, almonds, broccoli etc are useful
Laxatives and antacids containing aluminium should be avoided.
Bone density check can determine the disease. It is similar to x-ray. The patient lies on the bed and the machine measures the density of bone in two places, the lower back and hip. This test takes 10-15 mins.
Homoeopathy and osteoporosis
Homoeopathy fits into the class of therapeutic method that augments the body's own immune system. The basis of homoeopathy called the principle of similars, suggests that the microdose of substance will heal whatever the pattern of symptoms caused by a larger dose. This principle is also observed in the use of vaccinations, allergic treatments, though homoeopathic medicines are considered both smaller and safer in doses and more individualised to the person they are being used to treat.
There are lots of homoeopathic drugs indicated for osteoporosis like calc carb, calc phos, gensing, ginkgo biloba, cimicifuga, silica, etc. But before going for any homoeopathic medicine totality of symptoms should be considered.