Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a health condition where bones lose their density and strength, becoming more fragile and prone to breaking. In essence, this condition decreases bone mass, resulting in less dense and more brittle bones.

Functional/Medicine addresses osteoporosis by focusing on bone health and underlying factors that affect bone density. It involves comprehensive assessments of dietary intake, gut health and nutrient absorption, hormonal balance, thyroid function, gut health, and lifestyle factors like physical activity and exposure to toxins. Personalised treatment plans often include dietary changes to ensure adequate intake of bone-supporting nutrients, target supplements and lifestyle modifications to enhance bone density and reduce the risk of fractures. The goal is to improve bone health and prevent further deterioration through a holistic, individualised approach that addresses the root causes of osteoporosis.

 
 

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Case study

Emily*, female, 62-year-old, retired, London, UK

Address Osteoporosis with Functional/Medicine

Frequent Bone Fragility: Despite following conventional treatments for osteoporosis, Emily experienced recurring issues with bone fragility and density. Professional and Social Impact: Her condition interfered with her work and social life, as the fear of fractures limited her participation in many activities, affecting her professional growth and interactions with others. Apprehension and Lifestyle Limitations: Emily often felt anxious about engaging in activities that could lead to injury, such as outdoor adventures or sports, due to the risk of fractures associated with her osteoporosis.

*The case study uses “Emily” as a pseudonym to ensure confidentiality and privacy.

Some recommendations

Emily’s Personalised Plan

Dietary Changes: Emily eliminated foods detrimental to bone health, incorporating a diet rich in calcium, vitamin D, and protein, which are essential to promoting bone mineralisation and suppressing osteoclast activity.

Supplement Protocol: She started a targeted supplement regimen tailored to her specific needs. This included calcium, vitamin D and vitamin K to support strong bones and magnesium for bone mineralisation and density.

Lifestyle Adjustments: To complement her dietary and supplement changes, Emily integrated weight-bearing exercises into her routine, which are vital for bone health. She also implemented stress-reduction techniques, understanding the negative impact of stress on bone health, which is crucial for her osteoporosis management.

The Results

These holistic changes led to a boost in her physical and social well-being. A follow-up DEXA (dual x-ray absorptiometry) scan confirmed no further progression of osteoporosis, highlighting the success of her comprehensive approach.

“Fabiola’s personalised advice on diet and exercise, tailored to my unique needs, has significantly improved my bone health and overall well-being.”

Emily