Taking Care of Our Bones
Bones give our bodies structure, a framework to accommodate our body parts and their functions. Without bones, we wouldn’t get around all that much, what with our unsupported pile of body parts inching its way across the floor at a snail’s pace.
Obviously, we need to protect our bones. Understanding how they work will get us started.
Like all the rest of our body parts, bones are always in transition, shedding the old and worn out cells (called osteoclasts) and replacing them with new and sassy bone cells (called osteoblasts). This goes on every day of your life, although you won’t be aware of it; it just happens-if you let it.
New cells for bones
To create new bone cells, osteoblasts use calcitonin from thyroid hormone. And that’s where things can start to fall apart. If your thyroid is running on low, you don’t create enough thyroid hormone, which means you don’t create enough calcitonin, which means the bone-building business falls on hard times.
If you take a bio-identical thyroid medicine, such as NatureThroid, it will include the calcitonin you need for bone-making. T4 medicines, such as Synthroid, contain no calcitonin. Nor do the T3 meds that some doctors add to help you overcome your lack of energy.
So, if you have an underactive thyroid (which tests may or may not point out), and it’s not being treated with natural thyroid, your bones are in trouble. Doctors aren’t taught this fact. They are, however, hardwired to prescribe T4 meds for thyroid problems. These meds don’t really treat low thyroid, and they certainly don’t help with your bone-building needs.
The one thing T4 meds do is make thyroid blood tests look good. The doc will declare you fit as a fiddle, ignoring your flat, thin hair, lack of energy, and on down the list of more than 300 symptoms suggesting you still have a thyroid problem.
Osteoporosis – need good nutrition
When you reach, say, your fiftieth birthday or so, the doctor will start mentioning osteoporosis. You will not hear anything about the nutrition that prevents osteoporosis or the T4 meds that got you where you are.
(An aside: Since bones are constantly replacing themselves, jumping on the good nutrition bandwagon makes a big difference in bone health, whatever your age.)
If the doc suggests you take an osteoporosis medicine such as Fosamax, Boniva, Actonel, etc., run for your life. These biophosphonate drugs actually weaken bones and increase your risk of fractures.
Our minds immediately go to the possibility of a fractured hip, as well they should. But have you heard about the possibility of a fractured jaw? While a fractured jaw won’t kill you, as a fractured hip might, it’s not a good look.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, it’s all vanity, but even normal aging isn’t for sissies. Having your jaw listing off-center is just a bit much.
Pain in your bones
And biophosphonate drugs can also cause an irregular heartbeat, inflammation of your esophagus, and bone pain.
How do these drugs weaken bones? They “work” by making osteoclasts a permanent part of your bones. That’s right; they keep dead bone cells around so your x-rays look good. Your bones look thick and healthy, but all those dead cells make them brittle.
Have you ever snapped a dead twig? Dead twigs snap easily because they’re brittle. The same with bones.
Good nutrition beats drugs any day of the week. And please don’t tell me you have a good diet and your nutrition is all it should be. I used to think the same thing, but the more I learned about how the body works and what it needs, the more I realized the need for change.
One for-instance: A low-fat diet is a bad, bad, bad diet, but that’s what dietitians, nutritionists, doctor, trainers, et al recommend. And if you worry that a high fat diet will pack on the pounds, you worry amiss; a fatty diet actually helps you lose weight and keep it off. Of course, it has to be the right kind of fat . . . . . . .
God is good,
Copyright by Bette Dowdell. All rights reserved
P.S. Bette Dowdell is not a doctor, nor does she purport to be She’s a patient who’s been studying and successfully handling her own endocrine problems for more than 30 years. She offers introductory teleseminars and an in-depth 12-month subscription program, “Moving to Health” about living well with endocrine issues. She explains how things work-or don’t, discusses what things to avoid as well as the things that help, and she provides a lot of well-researched nutritional information. Subscribe to her free e-zine at Information is power.