Osteoporosis, which is also known as brittle bone disease is characterized by fragile, porous and easily breakable bones. According to WHO, osteoporosis holds the second place after heart diseases among the most popular diseases. October 20th is regarded as World Osteoporosis Day.
A bone mineral density less than – 2.5 is considered to be chronic osteoporosis.
- Inadequate calcium intake
- Menopause and ageing
- Tobacco consumption
- Excess consumption of carbonated beverages & coffee, salt & chocolate
- Prolonged use of anti inflammatory corticosteroids
- Inherited factors
- Health conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, hyperthyroidism & Cushing’s syndrome
- Osteoporosis is generally asymptomatic. Increased risk of fracture is the main characteristic due to low mineral density. Delayed union of fractures can also be noted.
- Females are more at risk as compared to males. Estrogen (females) plays a crucial role in keeping bone mineral density. In males this role is taken care of by testosterone.
- Towards menopause and aging, hormone levels decreases owing to bone demineralization.
DIETARY MANAGEMENT AND HOME REMEDIES
Adequate calcium & vitamin D and optimum protein intake are the cornerstones of dietary management.
- Milk & milk products – milk, paneer, curd, soymilk etc.
- Lean chicken and eggs
- Berries & cherries – strawberries and blue berries
- Green leafy vegetables – spinach, water cress, spirulina, turnip greens, kale. Kale is regarded as the king of vitamins.
- Green vegetables – broccoli, cabbage, green peas. Cabbage is abundant in vitamin k, vitamin c and calcium.
- Sour fruits – orange, kiwi, grapes, plums. These are rich in vitamin c. Vitamin c aids in calcium absorption. Plums are best when used in dried form (prunes). Prunes have high concentration of polyphenols (anti-oxidants) which can prevent fractures and maintain adequate bone density.
- Omega 3 fatty acids – fish oils, salmon, sardine, walnuts, hemp, chia seeds. Omega 3 fatty acids help to keep the bone strength.
- Seeds – pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
- Sesame seeds – high in calcium content. It contains magnesium, manganese, vitamin k and vitamin D. Snack on a handful of roasted sesame seeds anytime a day.
- Apple & apple cedar vinegar – these are rich in antioxidants like polyphenols and flavonoids. These allow the body to retain calcium. Try to include the skin while eating apple.
- Pineapple – rich in manganese, which is vital in preventing osteoporosis.
- Virgin coconut oil – this brings magic to women with estrogen deficiency. Virgin coconut oil helps to reverse and stop the loss of bone density. Have 3 tsp of virgin coconut oil daily.
- Almond milk – they are rich in calcium, magnesium, manganese and potassium. They are also rich in antioxidants. Keep 1 cup of almonds at water overnight. Peel off the skin and blend well with 2 cups of water. Add a dash of cinnamon and honey. It can be taken twice a day after staining.
- Coriander – it is rich in calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium. 2 tsp of coriander is boiled with 1 cup of water. This is cooled to room temperature. It can be taken twice daily with honey.
- Green tea – rich in antioxidants and can be taken daily.
- Food to avoid – sweets, carbonated beverages, alcohol, excessive salt, coffee, artificial colors, sweeteners and canned foods.
EXERCISE AND OSTEOPOROSIS
- It is a fact that exercises increase bone density.
- It is a natural process that bone density will decrease with age.
- It is better to keep your bone density intact before old age.
- As we all know, prevention is better than cure.
- So start exercising from today.
- Male bones are skilled to increase its bone mineral density till the age of 33 and for females it is 28.
- Weight bearing exercises are best suited for osteoporosis. Aerobics, brisk walking, jogging, skipping, climbing stairs, hiking, tennis etc can be added to the account.
- All exercises should be done in accordance to your strength and tolerance level.
Yoga Postures for Osteoporosis include
- Adho mukha svanasana
- Uttitha hastha padangusthasana
- Uttitha parsvakonasana
- Uttitha trikonasana
- Ardha chandrasana
- Parivrtta parsvakonasana
- Urdhwa dhanurasana
Practice yoga under the strict supervision of a trained yoga instructor.
Ayurveda also mentions to practice soorya namaskara daily in the morning.Exposure to sunlight for at least 20 minutes a day is recommended for vitamin D, which aids in calcium absorption in the body.
OSTEOPROSIS AND AYURVEDA
- In Ayurveda view point, osteoporosis comes under the category of vatika roga. When the vata aggravates in the body (due to imbalanced life style and ama dosha), it accounts for the DHATU kshaya (asthi kshaya) in the body.
- Santarpana therapy (nutritive therapy) is advised in these conditions. Also it is mentioned in Ashtanga Hrdaya sutra stana that decreased state of asthi dhatu is to be treated with vasthi (enema) using milk, ghee, and tikta rasa dravyas (bitter taste drugs)
Medications Used Are
- Bone Support – capsule consisting of boswellia serrata (asthishringala), laccifera lacca (laksha), moringa, arjuna (terminalia arjuna), and pravala pishti. Boswellia is an excellent choice of remedy for fractures. It is a natural pain killer and fastens the reunion of bones. It helps to inhibit the bone mineral density loss. Laksha is mainly used to increase the bone density.
- Lakshadi Guggulu – it helps to calm down the aggravated vata and is excellent for fracture healing. It also helps to reverse the bone density loss and helps n the Management of Aches and Pains associated with osteoporosis.
- Pravala pishti, akik pishti, Mukta pishti, giloy satwa, Jahar mohra pishti etc are also used. These can be used for Natural Calcium Supplement, which helps to strengthen the bones and joint.
- Arjuna Capsules – terminalia arjuna bark extracts are used to prepare this capsule. 34% of calcium carbonate is present in arjuna. Also it contains sodium and magnesium. Arjuna has powerful healing properties.