Osteoporosis and osteopenia are very common conditions today, especially among women after the onset of menopause. While drug therapy is often recommended, side effects can be quite severe. Be sure to ask about adverse effects if you consider any drug therapy.

However, the effects of this condition can often be improved by using hair mineral analysis and nutritional balancing. These methods may also help determine possible causes of bone demineralization and possible guidelines for the correction of this tendency.

Well-Known Causes

Some bone loss is normal with advancing age. However, according to conventional medicine, the exact causes of osteoporosis and osteopenia include the following: Hormonal imbalance such as low estrogen in older women, lack of sunlight or vitamin D, inadequate exercise or occasionally other diseases. While this is all true, there is more to the story.

Slow Oxidizer Calcium Imbalance

Hair mineral analysis clearly reveals that many people with osteoporosis have excessive calcium deposition in their soft tissues including the hair. This reflects the inability to maintain calcium in an ionized form in the blood.

To maintain ionized calcium levels, one must have adequate sodium and potassium, which help solubilize calcium. However, slow oxidizers often have low levels of sodium and potassium. This is due to low levels of adrenal and/or thyroid hormones.

When calcium is not maintained adequately in a soluble form, it begins to precipitate into the soft tissues, arteries, hair, joints and elsewhere. The body responds by removing calcium out of the bones to replenish the calcium in the blood. When this process goes on for years, the onset of osteopenia and then osteoporosis can be expected.

Typically, these individuals have plenty of calcium, but not in a form that can be retained in the bones. This phenomenon is often called biounavailability. Taking more calcium is not necessarily beneficial. Other nutrients are needed to retain calcium in the bones. These may include copper, manganese, boron, zinc, vitamins C, D, E and K. For this reason, just taking calcium or vitamin D for osteoporosis will not be as effective as an integrated program.

Fast Oxidizer Calcium Imbalance

Fast oxidizers generally have low calcium and magnesium levels on their hair tissue mineral analysis, especially relative to the levels of sodium and potassium. As part of the fight-or-flight response, the body raises sodium and potassium, which tends to influence excessive calcium loss in the urine.

If this pattern of stress response goes on for a long period of time, a chronic calcium and magnesium deficiency may develop. The body will then remove calcium from the bones to help maintain the blood levels of calcium and magnesium. Blood transport these minerals to the tissues which are critical for muscle and nerve functions.

Osteoporosis among fast oxidizers is much less common than among slow oxidizers.

Adrenal Glands And Osteoporosis

The adrenals may play important roles in osteoporosis. They produce all the sex hormones in men and after menopause in women as well. Healthy adrenals produce enough estrogen after menopause to maintain adequate estrogen levels. Strengthening the adrenals and thyroid glands using nutritional balancing is a more natural approach than taking estrogen replacement therapy.

Concerns With Hormone Replacement Therapy

The adrenal glands produce at least 10 hormones. By taking only one or even several, it can severely unbalance the delicate hormonal balance, causing even worse problems. This is why we believe it is always best to rebuild the adrenals before turning to hormone replacement therapy.

Many nutrients are needed to support the adrenals and thyroid glands. This is where a trace mineral analysis is most helpful because it not only indicates the condition of the glands, but can guide dietary and supplement recommendations to provide more exacting corrective measures.

Toxic Metals

Another possible contributor to osteoporosis is the accumulation of toxic metals in the bones or elsewhere. It is well known that lead replaces calcium in the bones. Other minerals such as fluoride and even some chlorine compounds can also replace calcium. Cadmium and mercury may also play a role in some cases.

It is impossible to detect the presence of all toxic metals on one hair analysis, or on any other single test, for that matter. This is because many are buried deep within the tissues. Instead, we find that toxic metals can be eliminated using a combination of therapies. Nutritional balancing programs may use all of the following modalities to safely and often quickly remove toxic metals and toxic chemicals.

  • balance the oxidation rate.
  • improve energy levels.
  • support the eliminative organs.
  • administer antagonists to the metals.
  • use natural chelators such as vitamin C and sulfur-containing amino acids like L-taurine.
  • inhibit the sympathetic nervous system with diet, lifestyle, supplements and other therapies like saunas.
  • activate the skin, the largest eliminative organ of the body.
  • reduce exposure to the metals.

Hair Analysis Osteoporosis Indicators

Common patterns to look for that can indicate a tendency for osteoporosis include:

  • Calcium level above 100 mg%. This does NOT indicate too much calcium in the entire body, but rather biounavailable calcium. Calcium is building up in the soft tissues, including the hair. This is really a form of calcium loss from the blood and bones that, over time, can lead to osteoporosis.
  • Calcium level less than 30 mg%, or a calcium/potassium ratio less than about 4:1. This indicates some loss of calcium through the urine due to a fight-or-flight stress response. The body eliminates calcium as part of the fight-or-flight response. If this calcium is not replaced in the diet and the pattern persists, osteoporosis can occur.
  • Sodium less than 6 mg% and potassium level less than 3 mg%. These often accompany an elevated calcium level. Sodium and potassium are needed to keep calcium in an ionized form in the blood. When sodium and potassium are low, calcium may precipitate out of the blood into the joints or soft tissues. Calcium is then drawn out of the bones to replenish the blood. Low sodium and potassium also indicate sluggish adrenal gland activity, with resulting low estrogen levels.

    Also, low levels of sodium and potassium indicate a tendency for adrenal gland depletion. This is associated with low female hormones and usually low thyroid hormones as well. This can also contribute to the development of osteoporosis.

  • Very high sodium and potassium levels. Very high sodium can dissolve calcium out of the tissues and bones, leading to calcium loss.
  • Copper less than 1 mg% or greater than 3 mg% often indicate a copper imbalance. Copper is needed to keep calcium in the bones.
  • Imbalanced calcium/magnesium ratio often indicates a magnesium imbalance. Magnesium is needed to help keep calcium in a soluble (usable) form.
  • A sodium/potassium ratio less than 2.5:1 often indicates usually advanced adrenal exhaustion. This may contribute to low hormone production.
  • Zinc less than 14 mg% or greater than 25 mg% often indicates a zinc deficiency or zinc loss. Zinc is needed for the absorption of nutrients and for protein synthesis. This is very important for bones as well.
  • Boron and manganese are also needed for the bones. Boron enhances natural hormone production and assists calcium retention. Manganese is needed for the adrenals and for all cellular energy production. It is best to supplement these minerals, even if the hair levels appear normal.
  • Lead greater than 0.1 mg%. Lead can replace calcium in the bones. This is a common cause of weak bones, even if the "bone density" is excellent. Lead makes bones appear dense on x-ray scans such as Dexa scans. However, the bone is not that strong. The same can occur with fluoride in the bones. They appear dense but they are not strong.

    The opposite can occur, too. A bone may not appear that dense, but it may be strong if it is well-nourished.

Other Remedies

In addition to scientifically designed nutrition programs based on a properly performed hair mineral analysis some individuals benefit with extra supplementation with calcium, zinc, manganese, copper, kelp (sea vegetable that is rich in all trace minerals) and fish oil, which is an excellent source of vitamins D, E and K which assist the body to absorb calcium and to use it properly.

Dietary Measures can also help a lot. An old-fashioned remedy is a soup made with chicken or other animal bones. Leave the bones in a pot of water on the stove on simmer overnight. In the morning, the liquid should be a milky color and consistency. Drink the liquid and throw away the bones. You can wait an extra day to drink the liquid if you wish. This will provide extra minerals and other nutrients for the bones. This can be done once or even twice a week for months without a problem.

The diet must be adequate in protein, complex carbohydrates and refined food of all kind should be minimized, as these tend to rob the body of vital minerals. Phosphoric acid in beverages like soda pop are particularly damaging. This binds and removes calcium, magnesium and zinc from the body. Excessive phytates found in raw grains and soy products in particular, can do the same.

Some research suggests that excessive protein in the diet contributes to osteoporosis. However, recent studies do not support this idea. On the contrary, low protein in the diet can negatively affect glandular activity and possibly contribute to osteoporosis. A good balance of nutrients is best.

Exercise, Sunlight, Posture

Mild to moderate exercise promotes bone strength. Excessive exercise, especially in young women, can lower hormone levels and contribute to bone loss. Reasonable sun exposure and the resulting higher level of vitamin D may be helpful. Deep breathing and good posture also contribute to bone health.

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