Osteoporosis / Osteopenia

Homeopathic treatment

Before delving into homeopathic treatment let us first discuss the conventional or allopathic treatment available.

In the conventional / allopathic treatment of osteoporosis or osteopenia the doctors recommend hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to slow down its progress. Either estrogen alone or a combination of estrogen and progesterone is given. Calcitonin, a naturally occurring hormone that inhibits bone loss, is also prescribed by the allopaths.

Hormone replacement therapy helps a little to a suffering woman and if discontinued, bones begin to thin again. Hormone replacement therapy is associated with an increased risk of developing breast and uterine cancers. Calcitonin is very expensive and is associated with side effects like nausea, skin rashes and so on.

Two large studies have since demonstrated the dangers of HRT and led to significant changes in the way it is prescribed. A major US research project involving over 16,000 women looked at the effects of the most commonly used form of HRT – pills known as ‘combined HRT’. In 2002, this trial had to be stopped early because of the health risks to the women involved. The researchers concluded that although this form of HRT gives protection against osteoporosis / osteopenia and bowel cancer, these benefits are outweighed by an increased risk of breast and uterine cancer, heart attack and stroke.

In 2005, results of the NHS-led ‘Million Women Study’ confirmed the link between breast cancer and combined HRT, with researchers estimating that 20,000 cases of breast cancer over the last decade have been due to HRT use. It was also found that estrogen-only HRT carries a significant risk of endometrial cancer.

The government’s medicines watchdog (MHRA) now advises that when HRT is prescribed ‘the minimum effective dose should be used for the shortest duration’ and that ‘because of the associated risks,’ HRT should no longer be used routinely for preventing osteoporosis / osteopenia in women over the age of 50.

With HRT or hormonal replacement therapy the body becomes dependant on the hormones for the life time as the glands that secrete the hormones become sluggish as the work done by them is being done from outside (hormonal pills) and gradually they stop working completely and the patient cannot live without the hormonal pills.

Research has shown that lifelong use of these hormones helps to maintain bone strength, though it does not restore bone loss that has already occurred. Also, once a woman stops taking these drugs, calcium excretion is significantly increased.

Also in conventional or allopathy treatment calcium supplements are given which may cause deposition of calcium at undesirable places causing kidney stones or calculi, gall stones and so on. In addition excess of artificial calcium in the body can cause muscle fatigue.

As the controversy regarding the use of hormone for treating menopause deepens, the need for a completely harmless treatment becomes stronger than ever, and a notable shift is now seen with more and more people opting for safer systems of medicine like homeopathy.

Homeopaths treat the osteoporosis / osteopenia by constitutional treatment. This is the process by which a doctor selects and administers a woman's own constitutional remedy based on the totality of her symptoms and her physical, mental and emotional state. This strengthens the body’s vital defenses and restores a healthy balance and sense of wellbeing.

Living with pains and an increased tendency to fractures, and other symptoms of menopause like mood swings, hot flushes, loss of libido significantly reduces the quality of life of a woman. Homeopathy is a boon for such females.

If the homeopathic treatment is started in the initial stages the prognosis is good and in most cases, the condition can be reversed. At later stages of the disease medicines may not be able to reverse the situation but can still help in easing many symptoms.

In a study carried out at an NHS Well-Woman clinic in Sheffield, 81 percent of 102 patients reported improvement of menopause symptoms after homeopathic treatment.

How homeopathy helps

  • Remedies help the body absorb calcium and strengthen the bones to prevent osteoporosis / osteopenia
  • Treatment brings the body into better balance and help its minerals and nutrients be used efficiently.
  • Medicines are also helpful for aching bones and prevention or healing of fractures. So homeopathy helps improving the quality of life after menopause.

There are 32 homeopathy medicines which give great relief in osteoporosis / osteopenia. However, the correct choice and the resulting relief is a matter of experience and right judgment on the part of the doctor. The treatment is decided after thorough case taking of the patient. Thus remedies are designer made unlike allopathy in which all patients receive the same drugs although trade name may be different.

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What is osteoporosis / osteopenia

Osteoporosis means “porous bones”. It is a condition that causes formerly strong bones to gradually thin and weaken, leaving them susceptible to fracture.

In osteoporosis / osteopenia the bone mineral density (BMD) is reduced, bone micro architecture is disrupted, and the amount and variety of proteins in bone is altered.

In United States of America about 1.3 million fractures are attributed to it. It is estimated that 24 million Americans are afflicted with osteoporosis / osteopenia, of which 80% are women.

Females are more susceptible because their bones are lighter and thinner and because their bodies experience hormonal changes after menopause that accelerates the loss of bone mass. In man the osteoporosis / osteopenia is uncommon until after the age of 70.

Causes

Hormonal causes

Thirty three percent of women over 50 will experience an osteoporotic bone fractures. This is the average age in which women go through menopause and begin to experience hormonal imbalance.

Estrogen levels in post menopausal women are about one-tenth the amount present in pre menopausal women. For this precise reason, women approaching menopause and those who have already gone through it are at a much higher risk of developing osteoporosis / osteopenia and suffering from bone fractures as a result.

Without adequate levels of estrogen, bones aren't able to absorb the proper amounts of calcium to replenish bone mass as cells slough off and die. Another part of estrogen's role in bone reformation involves maintaining normal levels of vitamin D, an important nutrient in bone protection. As estrogen levels decrease, levels of vitamin D follow suit, and bone strength suffers.

Diseases

Many diseases can hamper the growth of new bone material. Some of these diseases are hyperthyroidism, disorders of the adrenal glands (Cushing's syndrome, for instance), disorders of the pituitary gland, diabetes, and eating disorders.

Medications

Some medications can reduce bones' ability to rebuild themselves. Some of the medications that can cause osteoporosis / osteopenia are glucocorticoid medications, prednisolone, excess thyroid hormone replacement, the blood thinner heparin, and certain anti convulsant medications.

Insufficient bone growth as a youth

Bones that didn't get enough calcium early in life have a higher likelihood of becoming osteoporotic and fracturing as estrogen levels begin to decrease.

Genetic factors

If a woman's family members, especially her mother, have suffered from osteoporosis / osteopenia, the likelihood that she will develop the disease jumps dramatically. Genetics also helps determine the body type of a woman. If she inherited a small, thin body type, she is predisposed to osteoporosis / osteopenia.

Risk factors

  • a thin, small boned frame
  • previous fracture or family history of osteoporotic fracture
  • estrogen deficiency, resulting from early menopause (before age 45), either naturally, from surgical removal of the ovaries, or as a result of prolonged amenorrhea (abnormal absence of menstruation) in younger women
  • advanced age
  • diet low in calcium
  • caucasian or asian ancestry (african, americans and hispanics are at lower but significant risk)
  • smoking
  • excessive use of alcohol
  • prolonged use of certain medications

Signs & Symptoms

Osteoporosis / osteopenia causes bones to weaken and become brittle.

The main effect of weakening of bones is bone fractures. These bone fractures can occur from fairly mild falls.

The most commonly fractured bones are the bones in the wrists, hip, pelvis, ribs and spine. These fractures can be debilitating as they can affect mobility and cause ongoing or chronic pain.

Signs and symptoms of fractures caused by osteoporosis / osteopenia are:

  • Dowager's hump or a 'hump back' (forward bending in the spine)
  • loss of height
  • chronic back pain

Diagnosis

An examination to diagnose can involve several steps that predict your chances of future fracture, diagnose osteoporosis / osteopenia, or both. It might include:

  • An initial physical exam
  • Various x-rays that detect skeletal problems
  • Laboratory tests that reveal important information about the metabolic process of bone breakdown and formation
  • A bone density test to detect low bone density.

Diet & home care

Increase calcium intake

Increase your dietary intake of calcium. Calcium is found in dairy products–milk, cheese, yoghurt and so on. At least two glasses of milk are recommended for women undergoing or heading for menopause.

Exercise

Adequate exercise is a must for menopausal and post menopausal women, as it reduces the rate of loss of calcium. Women who exercise less generally develop more osteoporosis / osteopenia.

Soya foods

Soya foods have been found to contain natural phyto-estrogens that are very helpful in menopausal and post menopausal women. The potential health benefits are the reduction of hot flushes and vaginal dryness, protection against coronary heart disease, osteoporosis / osteopenia and cancer.

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Dr. Rohit Jain

He is a consultant homeopathy doctor with more than 18 years of clinical experience.

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Comments:

My mother is suffering from severe osteoporosis.......can u pls suggest treatment for it.....n whether it can b treated or not?

Rupal Mistry
Jul 21, 2017 11:55 pm Reply

Sir, I'm a 38 yr old housewife detected with osteoporosis in bone density check. My weight is 96 kgs which is another factor for worrying. Pls advice.

Prity Yadav
Apr 8, 2017 11:14 am Reply

my mother is suffering from thyroid, vertigo, parkinson, depression, diabetes, from 2 days bp is fluctuating. suggest some good medicine in homeopathy and also my father is having enlarge ankle bone which medicine should he take

Sanjeev Sipani
Mar 23, 2017 9:51 am Reply

I m 68 years old and have been diagnosed with severe osteoporosis. Also i m bronchitis asthma patient for the last 40 years. I would like to know osteoporosis can b prevented and treated in by homeopathy medicine

Veena Verma
Sep 16, 2016 7:38 am Reply

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