Osteoporosis is a disease of the skeletal system when the bones lose density, become brittle and become more prone to fracture. It is the major cause of bone fractures in older people, particularly post-menopausal women. Women are affected by the disease 4 times more than men. The risk of osteoporosis can be reduced by adequate nutrition, especially with calcium and vitamin D, regular weight bearing exercise, and by stopping smoking and avoiding alcohol.
Conventional Medical Treatment
Drugs used to treat Osteoporosis have been found to cause more problems for the bones! So paradoxically, instead of the drugs improving the condition, they can actually make it worse!
This is perhaps the reason why NHS Choices is extremely coy when it outlines the treatment for Osteoporosis!
“You may not need or want to take medication to treat osteoporosis. However, you should ensure that you're maintaining sufficient levels of calcium and vitamin D. To achieve this, your healthcare team will ask you about your current diet and may recommend making changes or taking supplements”.
Bisphosphonate drugs are the most commonly used medications used to treat osteoporosis. The DIEs of this treatment have been outlined above, yet they were approved, and continue to be approved by Drug Regulators throughout the world. They are used both for the prevention and treatment of the disease. They include the following:
- Actonel (risedronate)
- Boniva (ibandronate)
- Fosamax (alendronate)
- Reclast (zoledronic acid)
Side effects admitted by NHS Choices for bisphosphonates, taken orally, include gastrointestinal problems such as difficulty swallowing, inflammation of the esophagus, and stomach ulcers.
Side effects admitted by NHS Choices for bisphosphonates, taken intravenously, include flu-like symptoms, fever, pain in muscles or joints, and headache.
Other drugs used by the Conventional Medical Establishment to treat osteoporosis include:
- Evista (raloxifene), which belongs to a class of drugs called selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs).
- Miacalcin and Fortical (Calcitonin), a hormonal drug.
- Forteo (teriparatide), another hormonal treatment which has a ‘black box’ warning from the FDA as it can increase the risk of developing osteosarcoma, a rare but serious cancer.
- Estrogen/Hormone Therapy (ET/HT). This treatment is is often known as estrogen therapy. It can increase a woman’s risk of developing cancer of the uterine lining (endometrial cancer), breast cancer, blood clots and heart attacks. Other side effects include vaginal bleeding, breast tenderness, mood disturbances, blood clots in the veins, and gallbladder disease.
So what other evidence is there about the risks of conventional medical treatment for Osteoporosis? The website Physorg published an article (15 January 2008) "Popular osteoporosis drugs triple risk of bone necrosis" .The article outlined a study undertaken by the University of British Columbia, and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute that found the most commonly used Osteoporosis drugs almost tripled the risk of developing bone necrosis, a condition that can lead to disfigurement and incapacitating pain.
The research was described as “the largest study of bone necrosis and bisphosphonates, a class of drugs used by millions of women worldwide to help prevent bone fractures due to osteoporosis”.
It was also said to be the first study to explore the link between bone necrosis and specific brands of the drug group bisphosphonates, such as Actonel, Didrocal and Fosamax. Researchers apparently found that all three brands had similar outcomes.
The online Journal of Rheumatology published the findings, undertaken following
“a recent USA FDA alert about bisphosphonates drugs that highlighted the possibility of severe and sometimes incapacitating bone, joint and/or muscle pain in patients taking the drugs”.
Homeopathy does not treat illness or diseases. It treats the individual who has been diagnosed with a particular illness or disease. The distinction is important, and if you wish to read more about this, click on the chapter “Illness Diagnosis” above.
Homeopathy uses many remedies for people suffering with Osteoporosis. As is normal with Homeopathy, the correct remedy for any individual is based upon a remedy that best matches the symptoms of that individual. The main remedies used, with a brief description of the kind of symptoms they are used for, are as follows:
This remedy can work extremely well for people with Osteoporosis by promoting the absorbtion of calcium. It is often helpful to individuals who are easily tired by exertion and tend to feel anxious and overwhelmed from work or stress. The person may be chilly, flabby or overweight, and feel worse from cold and dampness. Back pain, swollen joints, and a sweaty head at night are often seen. People who need this remedy often have strong cravings for both eggs and sweets.
Stiffness, soreness, and weakness of the bones and joints often are experienced by those who need this remedy. Delicate and easily broken bones. Aching in the bones of the neck, upper back, and hips can be distressing. Deep tiredness frequently is felt, especially after exercise. No appetite, green stools, offensive, with undigested food. Calcium deposits and bone-spurs may develop, even while general bone-loss is taking place, and fractures may be slow to heal. A feeling of dissatisfaction and a strong desire for travel or a change of circumstances are often seen in people who need Calcarea phosphorica.
This remedy should be considered when there is deficiency of muscles and fat in addition to deficiency of bones. Unhealthy condition of glands is always present when this remedy is indicated.
This remedy is often helpful to people who are sensitive, suggestible, imaginative, but easily tired or weakened physically. Bones may be less strong than normal, or be slow to heal after fractures. Weakness is often felt in the spine, with burning pain between the shoulder blades. People who need this remedy are often tall and thin with an easily-flushing face. A desire for refreshing foods (especially ice cream) and strong thirst for cold or carbonated drinks are other indications for Phosphorus.
People who need this remedy are often nervous, easily tired, very chilly, and tend to sweat at night. They have a refined or delicate appearance, and often have weakness in the spine. Their injuries are slow to heal, and they tend to have a low resistance to infection. Moderate exercise often warms the person up and improves energy.
When osteoporosis is a problem, fractures often occur from mild trauma. This remedy can be useful for strengthening and healing bones when new fractures occur, and also helpful when pain persists in old, healed fractures (see Fractures).
Randomised Controlled Tests (RCTs) on Homeopathic Remedies
Whereas the main proof for the effectiveness of Homeopathy are the patients who once suffered from this condition, and have recovered. I have found one RCT trial that have looked into the use of homeopathy for the treatment of Osteoporosis.
Comparative therapeutic use of Risedronate and Calcarea phosphorica – allopathy versus homeopathy – in bone repair in castrated rats
This study compared bone repair in rats of one conventional drug, and one homeopathic remedy (Calc Phos).
“The Risedronate treatment influenced repair, leading to a greater bone quantity thanks that induced with Calcarea phosphorica 6CH. However, the bone formed under the Risedronate treatment displayed a resistance to resorption, keeping its trabecular aspect, while the Calcarea
phosphorica 6CH bone changed from an initially trabecular to a lamellar bone at the end of the experiment. The allopathic and homeopathic treatments led to different bone formation results regarding remodeling and maturation aspects. Further research is therefore necessary to assess the resistance and quality of the formed bone. Repair evaluation through optical density analysis does not faithfully describe the bone callus’ morphological course because it does not consider the differences between the trabecular and lamellar bones and also because it adds the fibrous connective tissue to the measurements”.