A common condition in women in old age, osteoporosis is a bone disorder that is characterized by the gradual deterioration and thinning of the bones as a woman ages. Although only a miniscule amount of bone would be lost every year, with time, the condition can become serious and lead to fractures, breaks and even irreparable damage.
The thing about osteoporosis is that it is hard to spot until the advanced stages of the condition start setting in. Most women do not even know that they have osteoporosis until they undergo medical treatment following a fracture or break.
Osteoporosis can be treated with certain alternative medications, which come as advantages for women who do not like the standard medications and treatment procedures (usually hormone replacement therapy) for the condition. Some of the alternative medications for osteoporosis include:
- Dietary Changes
- Herbal Alternatives
Making a few necessary changes to an existing diet program can help treat osteoporosis and its symptoms effectively.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Accordingly, adding plenty of fishes, fish oils and their supplements to the diet can help strengthen the bone and increase bone mass.
Fishes and fish oils contain Omega 3 fatty acids, which are considered essential for bone growth. In addition to protecting the bone from deterioration (omega 3 fatty acids prevent the excess loss of calcium from the body), these nutrients can also facilitate the easy absorption of calcium from the existing diet. A daily intake of 4 grams of fish oils can be beneficial for the body in this case.
Soy Products: Soy milk, soy beans, tofu and other soy products can effectively increase the mineral content of the bones and increase bone density. Eating soy products daily can therefore prevent osteoporosis to a great extent, even after menopause which is the time when the condition usually sets in.
The herbs that are chosen for the treatment of osteoporosis in women are usually ones that help deal with hormonal imbalances. Two types of herbs fall into this category.
Non-Estrogenic Herbs: With menopause, the estrogen levels in a woman’s body would dip drastically. This in turn would lead to a number of medical conditions, including osteoporosis.
Non-estrogenic herbs work by stimulating the hormone receptors in the body to produce more estrogen. In addition to balancing out the hormone levels in the body, this would effectively deal with the osteoporosis and other related conditions.
Phytoestrogenic Herbs: If the body is incapable of producing enough hormones, certain herbs like soy and red clover can be introduced into the system. These herbs contain phytoestrogens, which behave exactly like estrogens. These artificial hormones would then regularize the hormone levels in the body and treat/prevent conditions like osteoporosis.
The thing about using phytoestrogenic herbs for osteoporosis (and other conditions related to hormonal imbalances) is that the body becomes used to these artificial hormones and starts producing lesser natural hormones. In a way, a woman who opts for this treatment would have to follow it for the rest of her life (in most cases).
Slowly becoming a very popular alternative medicine for osteoporosis, acupuncture works by targeting certain points of the body, which further act as energy pathways. These points are activated with the help of very fine needles that are inserted into the skin. Even though this can curb osteoporosis effectively, it is a complex (and sometimes painful) process, and can be done only with the help of a qualified and experienced practitioner.