There is skeletal pain (especially in the hip and back), deformities (such as a hump in the upper back), a stooping and rounding of the shoulders, increased susceptibility to fractures, and a reduction in height. Do you find that your clothes are getting bigger? Unfortunately, symptoms are frequently not very obvious until the bones are quite weak.
Osteoporosis is a reduction in the total mass of bone, so that the remaining bone is fragile or "brittle." This weakening continues to increase. The bones actually become thinner. Bone formation is slowed; bone reabsorption increases, causing this loss of bone mass. About 25-30% of all white females in the U.S. reveal symptoms of this condition, especially after menopause. Older men, above 50, also have it, but to a lesser degree than women. Osteoporosis is rare in black men, but somewhat more common in black women. White women in America tend to lose 30-40% of their bone mass between 55- 70. But younger women should be watchful; research indicates that osteoporosis often begins early in life rather than just after menopause. (However, bone loss definitely accelerates after that time, due to a drop in estrogen levels.)
People with larger and denser bones tend to have less trouble with osteoporosis later in life. They started out with more bony structure. A major cause is a lack of calcium intake over a period of years. Other causes include inability to absorb calcium as well, a calcium-phosphorous imbalance (too much phosphorous), lack of exercise, or lack of certain hormones. Still other factors include late puberty, early menopause (natural or artificially induced), chronic liver or kidney disease, and the long-term use of anticoagulants, corticosteroids, and antiseizure medications. Smoking is an excellent way to damage your bones. Compression fractures in the vertebrae occur as bone loss advances. This causes a loss in height and crowds the nerves, resulting in pain. Nerve damage is possible. Older women often have a hump in the upper back as a result. Osteoporosis can also result in loose teeth which fall out, because the jawbone has weakened.
There are two types of this disease: Osteoporosis, Type I, is thought to be caused by hormonal changes, especially a loss of estrogen. Osteoporosis, Type II, traces its cause to dietary factors (lack of calcium, vitamin D, etc.), poor absorption, and intake of foods which block absorption.
• Sleep on a firm bed to give support to the spine.
• Calcium and minerals are found abundantly in natural foods such as green leafy vegetables, carrot juice, and broccoli. The green leafy vegetables are generally the best sources. Along with them ranks sesame seeds. They are the best ratio of high calcium and low phosphorous of any food.
• Millet is rich in calcium and magnesium. Almonds are high in calcium. The grains, amaranth and quinoa, are rich in minerals.
• Eat plenty of vegetables, raw and steamed. Other foods high in calcium include brown rice, kale, turnip greens, pinto beans, spirulina, collard greens, and sesame seeds.
• Vitamin D is necessary (400-1,000 IU daily) for calcium absorption and repair. You need a basic 400 IU daily. Sunlight will help you get part of what you need. But excess doses of vitamin D, taken repeatedly, caused bone deterioration.
• Vinegar and meat acids also diminish bone mass. This is because other dietetic acids are later changed to alkaline forms after they leave the stomach, but not vinegar or meat acid (purines, uric acid, etc.)
• It is well-known among medical professionals that sugar, coffee, caffeine, a high-meat diet, and smoking produce osteoporosis and similar bone problems.
• One study of middle-aged men and women with symptomatic osteoporosis were almost exclusively heavy smokers.
• A high-sugar diet causes calcium to be excreted in the urine. Excess sodium does this also.
Chocolate contains oxalic acid and prevents the absorption of calcium.
• Women who drink coffee and soft drinks are more likely to have osteoporosis.
• White-flour products contain chlorine, which is harmful to the bones.
• Do not use foods with preservatives, because of their phosphorous content. Drugs, such as diuretics, inhibit calcium assimilation.
• Do not eat meat or vinegar if you want strong, healthy, joints. A diet high in animal protein tends to causes the body to excrete increased amounts of protein. Beef, for example, contains 25 times as much phosphorous as calcium! A high-meat diet will invariably lead to calcium deficiencies.
• Exercise strengthens the bones. It causes the body to strengthen the insides of the bones, by increasing the webbing connections within them. Exercise definitely increases bone density. The body must have regular weight-bearing exercise, such as walking. When this occurs, more minerals are laid down in the bones, to strengthen them—especially where you need it the most: the bones of the legs, hips, and spine. Conversely, a lack of exercise accelerates the loss of bone mass. It is believed that lack of activity in old age is a factor in the increased levels of bone loss in those years. Daily exercise outdoors provides vitamin D and stimulates osteoblastic cells. Exercise increases muscle tone, strengthens muscles, prevents disuse atrophy and further demineralization of the bones.