Women in the U.S. are diagnosed with bone problems, first osteopenia and then osteoporosis, more than in any other country in the world. Most doctors recommend bisphosphonate drugs, but there are many easy non-drug alternatives that can make your bones much stronger with no side effects.
- First there are some things you will have to give up - sodas and dairy. Sodas, whether diet or regular, are bone destroyers. Studies have shown that drinking even one soda a day will have lasting negative effects on your bones. Although people are used to believing that milk has calcium and is therefore good for your bones, this is not true. Countries that use dairy have much more osteoporosis than those that don't. This is because magnesium is needed to push the calcium into the bones and should be absorbed in a 1:1 ration. Milk has 9 times as much calcium as magnesium, so it upsets the balance and the calcium gets stored in your joints or other uncomfortable places.
- Add raw, preferably organic, greens into your diet. The calcium in green vegetables is excellent for bone health and you would benefit from having raw juices or salads every day.
- Take vitamin D3 for strong bones. You can get this in capsules but the best source is Carlson's Cod Liver Oil, which is flavored with lemon and very easy to take by the spoonful every day. All the processed foods that claim to have vitamin D added have the cheap, synthetic form of vitamin D2, which is no use to your bones. If you get enough sunlight on your body, then you don't need to take anything because your skin will make its own vitamin D. But it takes an hour or more on a large area of your body to make enough.
- Take calcium and magnesium separately in a 1:1 ratio. Most supplements will be more calcium than magnesium, so I take them separately. You can either take a liquid Angstrom Mineral product or there is a relatively new source of calcium on the market that is very well absorbed and shows up well in bone tests. It is microcrystalline calcium hydroxyapatite compound (MCHC). It comes from cattle so I would rather be sure that it comes from New Zealand. I trust their farming practices. I recommend Now Foods microcrystalline calcium hydroxyapatite (it's very inexpensive from Iherbs.com). Magnesium citrate can be taken to bowel tolerance since magnesium helps your body in many ways and 80% of people in the US are low on magnesium.
- Take a strontium citrate supplement. Strontium was tested and found to create as much new bone as the dangerous drugs. It is a trace mineral and can be obtained cheaply from iherb.com. I use the Doctor's Best - Strontium Bone-Maker.
- Check your pH balance. By testing your first urine of the day with a pH measuring stick, you can find out if your body spent the night dragging calcium out of your bones to neutralize the acid in your system. If you eat processed foods or fast foods, which are acid forming in the system, or if you have an upsetting or stressful lifestyle, then your body remains acid. The acid would burn your organs if your body did not prioritize finding calcium to neutralize it. So if you find that you were acid the whole night through, then before bed take a drink of half a glass of water, juice of half a lemon, and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. It will fizz up like lemonade and taste ok and will allow your body to do all its healing and cleansing chores while you sleep.
- Exercise, exercise, exercise. This is so important. It is muscles attached to bone, pulling on them whenever you move, that convince your bone that it needs to grow stronger. The more you sit around, the more your muscles and bones will shrink away and disappear. It is weight-bearing exercise that is the best for building bone. Swimming and bike riding won't do it. There is something about your heels striking the floor that gets your bones' attention. An additional benefit can be found by wearing a weight vest that weighs up to 10% of your body weight while you exercise for one hour a day, five days a week. Research has shown that wearing the vest can build bone better than the drugs. You can find weight vests specially designed for women with osteopenia and osteoporosis.
Pamela Free has become an expert on osteopenia and osteoporosis after watching her mother shrinking and bending before her eyes. She developed the weight vest specially for women with bone problems that you can find on her site - http://weightvest4osteoporosis.com