Information abounds everywhere for we women: We’d better pay attention to the density of our bones or risk fracture that could lead to us being debilitated for life. Scary, huh? Yes, it would be … if it were truth.
The truth is that we’ve been heavily marketed to … again. We haven’t been offered the real facts; we’ve been given what will make drug companies millions. A natural aging process – one that can alleviated by natural, safe methods – has been turned into a billion-dollar disease.
The definition for osteoporosis was developed by a study group hosted by the World Health Organization. Seems pretty straight-forward, right? Not if you look at some other facts. One, the study group ignored the fact that loss of bone mass is a perfectly normal part of aging, especially in post menopausal women. Two, their definition turns healthy women whose bones are aging normally into “patients” at risk of having a frightening bone “disease.” Finally, the WHO study group was funded by three drug companies. Could still be nothing alarming there, but it sure raises a red flag conflict of interest to me. And it’s interesting that the WHO group’s findings were in the drug companies’ interest.
You know how often natural remedies are discounted because there aren’t randomized, controlled studies to prove their benefits? Well, guess what? There never has been one to determine if screening women for osteoporosis leads to better health either.
In Overdo$ed America, John Abramson, M.D., writes, “If a fraction of the resources spent on the exaggerated risk of osteoporosis were invested in these other ways to improve women’s health, hip fractures could be greatly reduced and overall health greatly improved.”
So, again, we come back to natural methods not only being safer but being more effective. What are these? It includes the basics in the 9 key areas of health: movement and nutrition. More specifically:
Strength training is one of the best ways to increase your bone density. Unfortunately, women too often steer clear of this important element. You don’t want bulging muscles, and you don’t know what to do. One, it’s really difficult for women to build huge muscle mass. We just aren’t designed for that to happen. You’d have to do a lot of work and have a pretty restricted diet to create the kind of muscles you see in body builders. That is not going to happen casually. Two, if you feel gun shy of weight training, get some help. Look for a book or, better yet, video about strength training for women. There’s a lot out there. Hire a personal trainer for just a session. Join a gym; many come with a complimentary session to teach you about the machines and give you a plan to start.
In addition, exercises like Tai Chi help improve balance. If you don’t fall, you don’t risk a fracture. It’s been shown that Tai Chi cuts the risk of falls in half for people 70 years or older. You’re younger than that? It’s never, ever too soon to start. What you build now will carry effortlessly through as you age.
Vitamin D builds strong bones. Yes, vitamin D. Calcium has gotten all the attention, but we are in severe need of vitamin D. You can’t have strong bones without enough vitamin D. If calcium is important – and there is beginning to be a lot of information that it doesn’t play as huge of a role in bone health as we’ve been told – you may well get plenty in your diet. But vitamin D is what’s needed for your body to properly use that calcium.
Also, diets with a higher ratio of animal to vegetable protein increase the rate of bone loss in women over 65. In a study, women who ate the highest proportion of animal protein were four times more likely to suffer a fractured hip as those whose primary consumption of protein came from vegetables.
This sort of information isn’t as readily found in mainstream media. I want you to realize how much good health – and healthy aging – is in your control. I want you to stop relying on a pill creating safety for you, when, in fact, you can give yourself that insurance. At a lesser cost and with fewer risks.
Does it take some time and effort? Yes. But can it flow naturally into a healthy, happy life? Absolutely. Create a plan, begin to take the steps, and, eventually, this all rolls into an easy routine that’s simply your daily life. A daily life unhampered with the risks and expense of medication. If you ignore these natural ways to build health, you still will have to make time – and spend money – on visits to the doctor or hospital.
Personally, I’d rather my time and money be spent on things like nutrition and movement. They are a natural, enjoyable part of my life.
How about you? What’s your choice? Look at it as good news: You have control over this. You’re in charge. Behaviors you are able to change can dramatically influence how healthy you are or even how well you recover from illness.