Osteoporosis is the most common bone disease in humans and poses a serious health threat for women and men. It is characterized by low bone mass and deterioration of the microarchitecture of bone tissue, leading to fragility of the bone and an increased risk of fracture. Osteoporosis currently affects approximately 30% of postmenopausal Caucasian women in the United States. It is estimated that 50% of the population by the year 2020 will be at risk for osteoporotic fractures. Women account for 71% of the 1.5 million osteoporotic fractures per year. The estimated treatment cost for this health concerns is $16.9 billion dollars per year.
The process of bone resorption (breakdown) and bone formation is called bone remoldeling. Osteoclasts stimulate the production of enzymes that dissolve minerals and protein in bone and thus promote bone resorption. Osteoblasts create a protein matrix primarily of collagen, resulting in remineralization of the bone, thereby promoting bone formation. Bone remoldeling is normally a balance of bone resorption and bone formation. An imbalance between bone removal and bone replacement results in bone loss and an increased risk of bone fracture.
There are several risk factors associated with the development of osteoporosis. Genetics factors may be the most important factor in determining the risk of osteoporosis. Lifestyle also plays a significant role. Hormonal factors clearly influence bone mass and the rate of bone resorption. Nutrition including foods rich in vitamin D, calcium and protein are very important. Smoking and alcohol have an adverse affect on bone density. Physical activity with an emphasis on weight bearing exercises reduces the risk of osteoporosis. Certain health conditions affect the body’s ability to make and maintain adequate bone quality.
The diagnosis of osteoporosis can be made with a comprehensive history and physical. A thorough review of potential risk factors will point the clinician to obtain the best diagnostic tests. A thorough evaluation would include a test of bone mineral density such as a DEXA bone density test. MRI and CT scans may be considered to assist in the diagnosis. A blood measurement of vitamin D is critical to help in choosing the correct amount of replacement. Markers of bone breakdown and bone formation such as urinary N-telopeptide, estradiol, osteocalcin, n-terminal propetide pro-Collagen may also help in the assessment.
The Wycoff Wellness Center’s approach to the diagnosis and treatment of osteopenia and osteoporosis is as follows:
- A detailed history with emphasis on modifiable risk factors
- A complete physical
- Obtain the appropriate diagnostic testing
- An appropriate treatment program including:
- A wholesome, health diet
- Change modifiable risks factors
- An appropriate exercise program
- Appropriate bioidentical hormone replacement
- Initial supplements:
- Cal Apatite – 3 tablets daily
- Ostera – 2 tablets daily
- Multigenics IC multivitamin (4-8 daily)
- Additional supplements (based on individual needs)
- Additional vitamin D (Iso D3)
- Additional mineral supplementation as needed
If you are concerned about your bone health, bone density or risk of osteoporosis, make you appointment for an initial evaluation. The Wycoff Wellness Center offers unique options to help your prevent or treatment this disease process naturally!