Are you worried about getting osteoporosis as you get older? There are natural steps you can take to protect your bones. Dr. Hotze discusses 8 tips to prevent bone loss.
Stacey Bandfield: Welcome back to Dr. Hotze’s Wellness Revolution. I’m Stacey Bandfield here with Dr. Steven Hotze, founder of the Hotze Health & Wellness Center. So glad to have you back with us, and always as a reminder, you can download our podcasts at HotzePodcast.com, that’s H-O-T-Z-E Podcast.com.
All right, the topic today. This was something that shocked me when I was in my 30s, when I first actually came to the center, and I didn’t think I had this issue, because it’s silent and it’s osteopenia, osteoporosis, and when I found out I had bone loss in my 30s, that was a difficult day for me, because I didn’t think… I thought, “Well, I’m so young, how can I possibly have something like this?” And so there are a lot of people out there who right now are experiencing bone loss but you’re never going to know it until you get tested. So Dr. Hotze, why don’t you share with the audience more about osteopenia and osteoporosis?
Dr. Hotze: Well, of course. I think most educated people have heard the term osteoporosis, maybe aren’t familiar with the term osteopenia. It’s just the degree of bone loss. Osteoporosis means porous bones, okay? They’ve lost their density, they’re brittle, they’re easily broken. Osteopenia means moderate bone loss, that it’s a degree, so if you go from here having good bones, osteopenia, you’ve got some moderate bone loss, and osteoporosis, you have severe bone loss.
Obviously, the more severe the bone loss, the more likely you are to develop a fracture of your bones, and most commonly the bone that fractures is the hip bone because women, commonly women, it happens in men as well, but women tend to have this problem more frequently, but a slip and a fall, fall on their hip. If the hip is osteoporotic, it’s going to fracture, and interestingly enough, the incidents of hip fracture compared to breast cancer, uterine cancer, and ovarian cancer all combined is greater than those three cancers combined, it’s a very serious problem and about 25% of the women, or individuals, could be males too, who fracture their hip are over the age of 50.
Stacey Bandfield: Mm-hmm, I read that.
Dr. Hotze: 25% don’t live out the next year of their lives. It used to be much higher than that before we could put, you know, artificial hips into the legs, you know, it used to be 40 or 50 years ago, you fractured your hip, you were up in a brace and your leg was extended. You lay in the bed there for literally months while under traction.
Stacey Bandfield: Miserable.
Dr. Hotze: Yeah. Traction, and commonly, they would get blood clots and they would die. So it was very common for people. It used to be, you know, if woman in her 60s or 70s fractured her hip, she was a goner. I mean, she was going to die. There was just nothing basically they could do. Eventually, she would die very quickly.
But now with new prostheses we have for hips and various things, that’s helpful. Of course, any bone can fracture, you know, a person can slip when they’re osteoporotic or osteopenic and slip. Even when you have healthy bones, slip, fall on your wrist, fracture those, but it happens obviously much more commonly in an individual that has bone loss or significant bone loss with osteoporosis.
Dr. Hotze’s 8 Tips to Prevent Bone Loss
1. Progesterone and Estrogen
Now, the bones are strengthened through a function of several different items, and I want to cover that. First, progesterone, which is one of the female hormones, primarily a female hormone, although males make a little progesterone. Women during their menstrual cycle make estrogen and progesterone, they balance each other out. Both of these hormones are important for bone metabolism, the destruction and recreation of bone. Our bone turns over constantly. We have the breakdown of bone, then we have the rebuilding of bone, osteogenesis, and progesterone and estrogen both help protect the bone and help with the bone metabolism.
As women march through their menstrual life and make lower and lower levels of these two important hormones that have an important and significant impact on bone density, as their levels go down and eventually they go through the change of life where they no longer make those, then that’s when women begin to have a development of more severe bone loss where they become severely osteopenic and then osteoporotic.
So maintaining good, healthy levels of progesterone and estrogen have proven to be helpful in maintaining good bone strength. Some other things you can do to maintain bone health, and I think the hormones are very, very important, let me say that, and in men, testosterone is the key hormone. In men, and men keep their testosterone levels longer than women keep their female hormone levels, so a male will continue even though his testosterone levels will decline over time, he’s still making them even in his 60s and 70s, at a much lower rate than he did in his 20s, of course.
But even men, as they start to get osteopenic, if we replenish their testosterone, we can restrengthen it and their bones can begin to develop again, and we can overcome that osteoporosis and osteopenia and get back to normal bone growth again.
3. Weight Bearing Exercise
Other things that can be helpful are weight bearing exercises, bearing weights, lifting weights, any time you put weight on the bone, the bone is going to be stimulated to regenerate itself, so you might consider doing that.
4. Healthy Eating Program
The other things that are important are good, healthy eating. All of health is based first on good, healthy nutrition. So healthy vegetables are very important. Eliminating a simple carb, high sugar diet is very important because that creates inflammation in the body. You want to be on good, healthy, green vegetables, and interestingly enough, green vegetables, anything green contains calcium in it, and that’s important for your bones, because your bones are made up of calcium and magnesium, and so it’s important for that.
5. Avoid Soda
You want to also, point five, you want to stay away from soft drinks like Cokes, Sprites, and Dr. Peppers, or Diet Cokes, any kind of soft drink, because they’re acidic, and that will leech calcium out of the bones.
6. Vitamin D
Another thing that’s very important for bone health is vitamin D. Now, vitamin D, we have found, studies around the nation have found that at least 80% to 90% of individuals in America have very, very low vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is very important for bone metabolism. I take, for instance, 15,000 units of vitamin D daily to get my levels up into a good level.
The range goes anywhere from 20 to 100, and you want to get it up into the range of 70 or 75, 80, get it up to 100, it’s fine, it’s not going to hurt you, it’s going to be healthy for you, not only your bones, but in your immune system and heart health, vitamin D is very, very important. So it’s important if you have low vitamin D levels, and you have osteoporosis or osteopenia, you sure want to make sure you have good vitamin D levels, that will help.
7. Vitamin K
Another important vitamin is vitamin K. Vitamin K has numerous effects. It helps diminish blood clotting, it helps thin out the blood, it helps pull calcium out of the arteries, but it also helps rebuild the bones, vitamin K is very important for that.
8. Avoid Smoking and Limit Alcohol
And finally, you want to avoid cigarette smoking and limit your intake of afternoon libations and cocktails. So both these can be harmful to bone metabolism and bone growth. What we have found at the Hotze Health & Wellness Center is those individuals who’ve come in and who have had osteopenia or osteoporosis, I don’t know what you’ve done have. You had your bone density done and what’s happening?
Stacey Bandfield: Yeah, so it actually reversed, and that was after I was put on progesterone and vitamin D, and it was amazing. So, I mean, it was great to be probed.
Dr. Hotze: You’re feeling happy, don’t you?
Stacey Bandfield: I’m feeling happy about that, absolutely.
Birth Control Pills Lead to Osteopenia
Dr. Hotze: Then I’ll mention something. The reason we see, in many young women, we se osteopenia, is because many of ’em have been on birth control pills for a number of years, maybe 10 years, 10 or 15 years, and when they’re on birth control pills, it shuts down the function of the ovaries, you don’t make your natural progesterone or natural estrogen.
These are counterfeit hormones that are in the birth control pills, they’re not natural, so they turn off the production of your natural hormones and birth control pills, the counterfeit hormones of birth control pills, don’t stimulate bone growth, so that’s why we see in many younger women, which you wouldn’t expect it, we see them having osteopenia routinely in their 30s because they’ve been on birth control pills. So if you’re on birth control pills, know that that can be a problem.
Stacey Bandfield: Right, and I was actually, I’ll say it, I was on birth control pills when I was younger, too, so, I mean, these are the things that they don’t tell you about, they just put you on these things and then you find out the effects down the line, so definitely Dr. Hotze, that was such great information, and I know that it reached just the right people.
Dr. Hotze: I did want to mention, too, oftentimes, now, when you have osteopenia, and osteoporosis, obviously here at the Hotze Health & Wellness Center, we’re going to treat it naturally, we’re going to use natural estrogen, we’re going to use natural progesterone, we’re going to use vitamin D and vitamin K.
Stacey Bandfield: Absolutely.
Dr. Hotze: We’re going to get you on a good, healthy eating program, and encourage weight bearing activities, those short of things. Get you off soda water and all that. And so we’re going to make some natural recommendations for natural approaches to regaining bone health, which we’ve found works fine. You go to a conventional doctor, they’re going to put you on what are known as bisphosphonates, like, Fosamax, and I’m going to give you a few names of those. What are those?
Stay Away from Fosamax
Well, Fosamax is one of them. We don’t use them, so I can’t remember all the names, but all these bisphosphonates do not create real bone growth. They allow for the normal metabolism in the bone to create a false coating on the bone that on bone density tests looks like you have bone, but the bones remain brittle.
It also has numerous side effects, but the most dangerous, it causes necrosis or death of the jaw bone. This is a serious problem, so I would not, look, you don’t have osteoporosis because you’re short, your body is low on some pharmaceutical drug. The reason you get osteoporosis as you age is because your hormone levels decline, you’re eating program’s not good, you’re not doing weight bearing, your vitamin D levels are low, vitamin K levels are low, and these are things you can naturally supplement that are natural to the system, and won’t cause any harmful side effects.
Stacey Bandfield: That’s the key.
Dr. Hotze: So I would encourage you to go the natural route if you have osteopenia or osteoporosis, we’ll be glad to help you correct that.
Stacey Bandfield: That’s right, and we do have a bone density test here at the Hotze Health & Wellness Center as well, so all you have to do is give us a call at (281) 698-8698. That’s (281) 698-8698. It’s a pleasure having you join us today here at Dr. Hotze’s Wellness Revolution.