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Metabolic Bone Disease is a term used for various conditions of the bones that can be caused by a number of different disorders. Most of these disorders are developed due to nutritional deficiencies, defects in the bone metabolism procedure or due to hereditary defects in the skeletal structure. Conditions that fall under the category are osteoporosis, osteomalacia, rickets, Paget's disease, parathyroid conditions, chemotherapy induced bone loss and menopause induced bone loss.
Causes of Metabolic Bone Diseases:
- Imbalance in the level of calcium : Too much calcium or too little calcium can cause bone diseases. While the overabundance of calcium (hypercalcemia) in the body will lead to calculi formation, which can be harmful for the body, the lack of calcium (hypocalcemia) causes weakness, bone pain and restricted growth.
- Deficiency of phosphorus: Low phosphorus in blood (hypophosphatemia) leads to softening of the bone tissue and bone loss. Osteomalacia is commonly caused by phosphorus deficiencies.
- Deficiency of Vitamin D: Vitamin D is essential for the body to absorb calcium. Cells called osteoblasts need vitamin D in order to absorb calcium and secrete the bone tissue proteins. A deficiency of vitamin D can lead to a number of metabolic bone diseases like rickets and osteoporosis.
- Over or under secretion of the parathyroid hormone:The parathyroid hormone (PTH) stimulates the secretion of an enzyme, which converts the inactive circulatory form of vitamin D into its active usable form. The hormone can also increase the circulation of free or ionized calcium (Ca2+), which is not attached to proteins. Both underproduction and overproduction of the hormone causes skeletal problems.
Symptoms of Metabolic Bone Diseases:
The symptoms of most of the Metabolic Bone Diseases are similar, such as
- A dull, throbbing pain in the bones is the most common symptom. The pain is frequent and lasts for a long amount of time, but unlike muscular pain, the exact region of bone pain cannot be specified.
- Severe joint pains accompanied by stiffness and swelling of the joints. The patient experience pain during regular physical activities, especially during cold weather conditions.
- Frequent fractures are caused by most bone diseases because the bone mineral density decreases drastically. Severe bone injury may be caused by mild trauma.
- Defects in the bones can cause bowed out legs and a bent backbone.
- A general feeling of exhaustion is often caused by bone diseases.
- Kidney stones are an associated complication of metabolic bone diseases.
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Unlike the allopathic form of treatment, ayurveda contains more than a few tablets and capsules. Ayurveda is a way of life that looks into what you eat, how you breathe, your exercise regimen etc. According to the ayurvedic texts, the air you breathe and the condition of your nasal passage through which air enters your body has a big impact on your health.
Nasya is the ayurvedic practice of lubricating your nasal passages. This not only keeps the nasal passages and sinuses clear but is also beneficial for the cervical lymph which maintains the immunity (learn more to improve the immunity system) of the ear, nose and throat. Nasya is especially beneficial in the winter months and can be practiced by both children and adults.
Some of the other benefits of nasya are:
- It promotes hair growth
- It enhances the functioning of sense organs
- It boosts immunity
- It shows down the aging process.
Nasya is best practiced after neti or the ayurvedic nasal cleaning procedure. After the debris in the nasal passages has been cleaned by neti, allow the passages to air dry for a while. You will need specialized herbal oil also known as nasya oil. You can buy this online or at any ayurvedic chemist. some of the common herbs used in nasya oil are pippali, apamarg, vidanga, vacha, saindhava and hingu.
Nasya can be varied by the type of oil used and the amount of oil used. Some common types of nasya include Virechana nasya, Pratimarsha nasya, Avapeedana and Dhooma Nasya. the optimal time to practice nasya also varies according to the disease or condition being treated. the best time to practice nasya to relieve Kapha disorders is in the morning. Practicing nasya in the afternoons is beneficial for pitta related problems and practicing this in the evening can help treat vata disorders.
To practice nasya, lie down on your back and tip your head backwards. Put a few drops of the oil in your nose and inhale sharply. You should be able to feel the oil hit the back of your throat. When practicing nasya on a child, use minimal oil. You could also dab the oil on with a cotton swab as their nasal passages are very delicate.
Nasya can also be performed by blowing dry powders into the nose rather than oil. This is known as pradhamana nasya. This is used to treat a number of diseases including cervical lymph adenitis, tumors, epilepsy, drowsiness, certain skin diseases, sinusitis and headaches.