Why the Conventional Treatment of Osteoporosis Doesn’t Work

by Dr. David Williams
Filed Under: Osteoporosis, Bone & Joint Health
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

The risks of traditional osteoporosis treatment far outweigh the benefits

Sadly, conventional medicine’s attempt to treat osteoporosis falls short…very short. Other than telling patients to take extra calcium (which is important—but only a small part of a complete treatment plan), the two most common treatments for osteoporosis a conventional doctor will present are

Hormone Replacement Therapy

If you're taking hormone replacement therapy—particularly estrogen replacement—in an effort to treat osteoporosis, it may be the equivalent of burning down the barn to get rid of the mice.

A greater lifetime exposure to estrogen increases the risk of cancer—particularly breast cancer—but this information has been overshadowed by the fact that estrogen increases the absorption of calcium, which increases bone mass. Estrogen levels are so closely linked to bone mass that researchers now tell us that they can predict a woman’s cumulative lifetime exposure to estrogen simply by measuring her bone mass. The greater her bone mass, the greater her estrogen exposure. However, the greater her estrogen exposure, the greater her risk of developing breast cancer.

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Bisphosphonate Drugs

There are significant downsides to using the so-called bone-building bisphosphonates, like Fosamax, Boniva, Actonel, and Evista. These include some well-known adverse gastrointestinal side effects and chemical burning of the esophagus (which is why the package inserts instruct patients to sit upright and refrain from eating for half an hour after taking the drug). Other reported side effects of bisphosphonate drugs include:

  • Eye pain and inflammation
  • Potentially life-threatening blood calcium deficiencies
  • Kidney toxicity
  • Osteonecrosis (infection and death of bone tissue in the jaw). Symptoms of this terrifying side effect include jaw pain, loosening teeth, abscesses, and rotting, draining, and exposed jaw bones.

Even more disturbing than these side effects is the fact that bisphosphonate drugs don't actually restore bone. The marketing language is carefully crafted to skirt this inconvenient fact, but the truth is that they don't stimulate new bone growth. Instead, they slow the rate of loss at which old bone is lost by blocking the action of osteoclasts—cells naturally present in bone that are meant to dismantle old, stressed, or damaged bone tissue so it can be replaced by new tissue, made by osteoblasts. This may sound like hair-splitting, but it's not. It means that the bones of a patient taking bisphosphonate drugs are increasingly constructed of over-aged, damaged, or "sick" bone cells that have been allowed to linger longer than is good for the skeleton at large.

I advise against both of these controversial and dangerous treatments. There are much safer natural ways to prevent and treat osteoporosis.

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