Reversing Osteoporosis and Arthritis Is Possible
Finding out the truth about health issues takes some digging. The medical industry is no longer in business to keep you healthy; they are in business to make money. Merchandising medications and procedures has become big business with specific healthy groups of people targeted for "preventive" measures and medications. So depending on what your doctor tells you isn't always the wisest course of action. Sorting out fact from fiction can be tricky, but there are plenty of authors and websites out there that will give you the truth, and I want to present a little of what I've found about two health issues in particular- arthritis and osteoporosis.
Both of these conditions have been thoroughly exploited by drug companies that promote their medications and procedures that often won't do much more than make them rich. Typical medical treatment involves medications that treat symptoms, then surgery of one sort or another. Drugs start off as natural substances that are then altered in a lab to make them patentable. And when a patent and FDA approval are obtained, the money starts rolling in. There is no money for drug companies in natural supplements so they aren't promoted by the medical industry and in fact are often undermined, in spite of the fact that drugs cause untold deaths every year while supplements do not.
Supplements can work on the actual cause of these conditions rather than just treat symptoms. They target the source of the trouble and give your body what it needs to regenerate, thus actually working to reverse these conditions. If you choose to try these approaches, you will get to the source of the trouble and give yourself an opportunity to take charge of your own health. Reversing arthritis and osteoporosis IS possible.
Skeleton is free image from clker.com.
Reverse Osteoporosis Naturally
The Hormone Issue
Osteoporosis is a condition in which bone tissue loses its integrity, becoming porous and more susceptible to fractures. The threat of developing osteoporosis is one of the primary selling points for hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
Osteoporosis has been promoted as a deficiency disease that afflicts women in mid- to late-life with an estrogen deficiency blamed as the culprit, according to the publicity fed to the public. We are told that osteo is just waiting out there to take us down in our declining years if we don't act now. Our salvation can be found in HRT products actively promoted by the medical industry designed to save your skeleton. This is another example of the medical industry looking for ways to sell their drugs to a healthy population in the name of prevention.
There are several problems with this whole campaign to drug the female population. First, osteoporosis doesn't afflict nearly as many people as they would have you believe. Statistics are presented in a way that makes it look like it's the inevitable fate for a huge percentage of the female population, and that just isn't true. Second, osteoporosis also affects men; it's not just a female disease.
Third, the estrogen theory is only partially correct. It is true that estrogen slows bone loss later in life, and as estrogen production falls, bones are more apt to deteriorate. But that's only a part of the full picture. Progesterone is the other hormone that is necessary for bone health. According to John R. Lee, MD, it is progesterone that actually stimulates the formation of new bone. Though women will continue to produce a certain amount of estrogen, progesterone production practically disappears. Dr. Lee has treated women with natural progesterone and has had significant success in reversing osteoporosis this way.
HRT promoted by the medical industry to prevent osteoporosis may actually have some positive effect in that area, at least for awhile. But it doesn't address the cause of the condition completely like progesterone does, and the side effects of this medication are severe. In my thinking, it is not worth the risk when natural remedies are available that work so much better. For more information on the whole HRT issue, see my blog post Hormone Balance and Estrogen Dominance..
It is wise to do your homework before diving off into progesterone use. It must be done correctly, and you have to pay attention to your body to know how to adjust your dosage. Start at Dr. Lee's website, then you can look for his books at your library or at Amazon. They are listed below.
Since writing this post, a study has been published at PubMed in 2010 demonstrating the effectiveness of using progesterone to prevent bone loss. It states:
In vitro studies of human osteoblasts in culture, prospective studies in adolescent, premenopausal, perimenopausal, and postmenopausal women all indicate that progesterone—likely working through bone formation pathways—plays an active role in maintaining women's bone and in osteoporosis prevention.Progesterone and Bone: Actions Promoting Bone Health in Women
John R. Lee, MD Online
The Official Website of John R. Lee, MD- This link will take you to an index at Dr. Lee's site that lists all his articles on osteoporosis.
Hormone Balance Made Simple- This is the easiest of his books to understand. This is a bottom-line-type book with all the essential information you need to get your hormones into balance.
What Your Doctor MAY Not Tell You About Menopause- This is his basic reference on hormone balance that goes into detail about how hormones work.
What Your Doctor MAY Not Tell You About Breast Cancer- Another great book that is a real eye-opener.
The Arthritis Cure by Jason Theodosakis
If you go to your doctor for treatment for osteoarthritis, you will more than likely be put on medications, NSAIDs specifically, to keep inflammation in check and to stop the pain. Standard medical treatment involves pain relief since the general consensus in the medical community is that osteoarthritis is incurable. Pain killers in the form of aspirin, acetominophen or NSAID's (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and cortisone shots all have their side effects, some quite serious. But the most serious problem with this kind of treatment is that it merely covers up the pain while joints continue to deteriorate. This is great for the medical industry, racking up case after case of joint replacements. Allowing joints to just fall apart like that is the next best thing to malpractice according to Dr. Theodosakis, saying that it violates the Hippocratic Oath to "do no harm".
He recommends three supplements, glucosamine being the primary one. Many studies have proven the effectiveness of this supplement, with participants experiencing relief within a couple weeks. In The Arthritis Cure, Dr. Theodosakis explains the role glucosamine plays in joints. Suffice it to say that the supplement provides the body what it needs to actually rebuild joint cartilage, assuming joints haven't deteriorated too far.
Glucosamine is often paired with chondroitin, another supplement that complements glucosamine in the rebuilding of cartilage. Each has its own action, and together they work to rejuvenate joints. Dr. Theodosakis calls chondroitin a "water magnet", attracting fluid that acts as a cushion and also brings nutrients into joints. The third supplement he recommends is called ASU, a natural vegetable extract from avocado and soybean oils, a substance that both stimulates cartilage regeneration and inhibits its breakdown. At his website (link below) he offers his own line of supplements after finding out that most on the market are substandard and a waste of money. (There are quite a few joint creams on the market with glucosamine in them; however, there is no evidence that glucosamine can be absorbed through the skin. It would be best to stick with supplements that are taken orally.)
The Arthritis Cure is a book that demonstrates the effectiveness of these supplements to bring relief to arthritis sufferers. He does an excellent job presenting the case for these supplements as opposed to standard medical treatment that involves prolonged use of pain killers. Supplements are only one step in his 9-step program. There are many factors involved, and his program offers a comprehensive lifestyle change that will bring relief to arthritis sufferers.
Exercise is vital for both bone and joint health and is a key feature of his program. Your body subscribes to the "use it or lose it" philosophy, so at least a certain amount of exercise will help strengthen bones and keep your joints working. This is pretty much common knowledge and even your doctor will encourage you to become more active if you aren't already. Theodosakis offers specific recommendations in the exercise arena that will help keep your joints healthy.
Diet is of course the other key ingredient in regaining control of your bones and joints, another aspect most doctors will subscribe to. It's simple logic that your body will fall apart on a diet of junk food. Just about any malfunction can at least be helped by increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables, it's just simple logic. Garbage in- garbage out. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with all kinds of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that provide real help to your body in its attempt to repair itself.
One other diet recommendation is to make sure your water intake is sufficient. Few people drink enough water to start with, and joints will definitely suffer without sufficient lubrication. Synovial fluid is a thick fluid in your joints that reduces friction, acts as a shock absorber, and provides nutrients. If you don't drink enough water, joints will dry up.
Another easy supplement to start taking isn't really a supplement at all- it's gelatin. I first heard about this one on a tape by Dr. Joel Wallach who is also an author and lecturer on health through nutrition. On his tape "Dead Doctors Don't Lie", he recommends one packet of plain gelatin dissolved in orange juice every day. I have searched online to find out if this has been researched and couldn't find much, but there are people who swear by it. As far as I can tell, it is collagen that gelatin adds to the equation, a necessary ingredient for joint health. And I figure it surely can't hurt.
Bottom line- there are proven supplements that will reverse arthritis naturally, and there are proven supplements that will reverse osteoporosis naturally. You don't have to lose your bones and joints to the aging process if you will take supplements and take charge of your health.
In head-to-head comparisons, not only are glucosamine/chondroitin and ASU more effective than NSAIDs for long-term use, they're far safer. . . not a single death worldwide has been attributed to these supplements . . . over many years. By comparison, . . . these [NSAID] drugs lead to some 16,500 deaths and 103,000 hospitalizations every year. (Theodosakis, p. 121)Skeleton hand is free clip art from clker.com.
Dr. Theodosakis Online
Here you will find Theodosakis' own line of supplements he chose to market after finding out that most supplements are sub-standard and a waste of money.
Dr. Theo's Official Website- His patients call him "Dr. Theo," and he uses that name as a way to easily identify his ground breaking treatment program that has helped change the lives of millions of arthritis sufferers worldwide.
The Arthritis Cure at Amazon
The Arthritis Cure by Jason Theodosakis
Maximizing the Arthritis Cure by Jason Theodosakis
The Gluten Connection
According to David Perlmutter, MD in his book Grain Brain, gluten can be a factor in arthritis in that it causes inflammation all over the body. Most people think gluten is a problem only those diagnosed with celiac disease, but a lower level of sensitivity to gluten is apparently much more common than has been previously recognized. Dr. Perlmutter has seen arthritis symptoms abate when gluten is removed from the diet. Research is showing more and more connections between gluten and various manifestations of inflammation including Alzheimer's and digestive disturbances as well as arthritis.
The problem isn't necessarily just with gluten, either. A diet high in carbs (flour products, sugar and starchy vegetables) creates a chain of events that results in inflammation, a cascade of reactions involving insulin and umpteen other substances that cause untold damage to the body. Grain Brain is a book well worth reading. If you are suffering from arthritis, the information Perlmutter presents could be a huge help.
Grain Brain at Amazon
Grain Brain by David Perlmutter, MD
David Perlmutter Online
Dr. Perlmutter has a rather large online presence with his website Brainchanger as well as Twitter and Facebook accounts. He makes quite a bit of information available online.
Two More Things to Consider
First, the pH Factor
It is a diet high in protein that is acidic while fruits and vegetables are alkaline. We tend to load up on protein, with even "healthy" foods like protein bars, and protein shakes being quite popular. But according to Dr. Ted Morter, this excess of dietary protein can be blamed for such things as osteoporosis, duodenal ulcers, gallstones and acid indigestion.
I have constructed a post on this subject Protein, pH and the Alkaline Diet where you can find more information and links to my sources.
Acid warning sign is free clip art from clker.com.
Dr. Ted Morter at Amazon
Here are a couple of Dr. Morter's books. I had originally found Your Health, Your Choice at the public library, but soon decided to purchase my own copy. It has since been updated under the same title.
Your Health, Your Choice by Ted M. Morter, MD.
Dynamic Health: Using Your Own Beliefs, Thoughts and Memory to Create a Healthy Body
Ted Morter Online
Morter Health System is Ted Morter's website which includes a store with his own product line.
Between the milk checkoff program promotions ("Got Milk?") and the supplement companies, we have been thoroughly convinced over the years that calcium is absolutely essential to prevent bone loss. The key to staying healthy is always balance, and where the calcium issue is concerned, that means it must be balanced with Vitamin D and magnesium, and it requires a certain amount of dietary fat for absorption (another good reason to avoid a fat-free diet). There are several other trace minerals involved in the process, demonstrating how your body requires balance to function correctly. Just calcium alone won't do what you want it to do.
You can always get too much of a good thing- too much calcium will mean that magnesium will not be absorbed, leaving you magnesium deficient. And the excess calcium will be deposited in joints, and it may predispose you to kidney stones. There are those that don't agree with the rush to supplement with calcium for these reasons. And many believe you are more apt to be magnesium deficient rather than calcium deficient- a chocolate craving may indicate you need magnesium. Just do an internet search for magnesium and chocolate and you will find an abundance of sites with this information.
As for milk as a source of calcium, Dr. Morter explains how the protein content of milk is so high, the calcium content is used up in processing it. He even believes the protein content can be so high that milk could actually contribute to osteoporosis rather than prevent it. This is due to the high protein content of the cattle feed. Add to this the fact that the calcium in milk is in a form that is not readily absorbed because of the pasteurization process, and milk no longer looks like the salvation of your skeleton as it has been portrayed for so many years. From the pH point of view, the "Got Milk?" slogan could more accurately be "Got Osteo?"
Calcium is a key factor in muscle function, so one way to tell if you are calcium deficient is by muscle cramping and muscle twitches. In retrospect, I was rather surprised when I realized my old GP from years ago knew this- I had asked him what to do about muscle cramps, and he told me I needed calcium.
I am up in the air on this issue. I quit using milk years ago when I realized it was the source of all my sinus headaches, but have taken a combination calcium/magnesium supplement for years. (I figure I am out in the sun enough that I don't need extra Vitamin D.) One of the reasons I continue to take them is because of the pH issue- I assume that they will help in keeping my pH up where it needs to be, preventing calcium from leaching out of my bones. But I don't know that this actually works. And I take it to prevent muscle cramps. The jury is still out on whether or not to use calcium supplements; I tend to believe it's a good thing, but you need to look into it for yourself and make up your own mind. If you do, just make sure you have it balanced with magnesium, Vitamin D and some dietary fat.
Holstein cow is free photo from Wikimedia Commons.
The Science of Weight Loss- Find out why the standard advice won't work and what will.
Breakfast Cereal Diets- Really??- Why eating cereal can't possibly help you lose weight for the long term.
Sugar- The Real Villain- This was my first blog post on this subject; some information is repetitive, but there are other points made, as well as links and a list of sugar substitutes.
"Healthy" Foods That Aren't- Several foods that are perceived as healthy but really aren't.
They Told Me He's a Quack- Several people I have found out about that have gone against the tide of public opinion and "expert" advice and have given thousands of people help and hope.
Alzheimer's, Dementia and Statins- Statins are dangerous drugs that cause memory loss and muscle damage.
Cholesterol- Mother of All Scams- The whole cholesterol scare has been based on faulty research and has been exploited by pharmaceutical companies to keep an otherwise healthy population on their drugs.
Water for Health- Why we need water to stay healthy.
Protein, pH and the Alkaline Diet- How the pH of the food you eat affects your health.
Restless Leg Syndrome- Treat the Cause, Not the Symptoms- My experience with RLS and what has helped me.
Why You Can't Trust the Medical Industry- The entire medical industry has been corrupted by greed. It pays to be skeptical.
Hormone Balance and Estrogen Dominance- Regularly prescribed HRT has serious side effects; there is an alternative.
Phonics and Dyslexia- Information that can help dyslexic adults as well as children, and a post about the phonics-whole language wars and why phonics wins every time hands-down.
Quill pen is free image from Wikimedia Commons.