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Dr. Rick's Health Tip of the Month

July 2000

Build Strong Bones Now!

By Rick Allen, DC

Diagram of spine fracture

Osteoporosis is a serious condition that can lead to painful compression fractures of the spine, as was the case last month for one of our local dancers, Mary Lou Griffith. I reviewed her case this month in Instep Dance Magazine and posted on my web site . She is doing much better after about three weeks of care. As a preventative measure for the future, I have advised her to do four things known to help increase bone density. These tips apply to all women as they approach menopause. Tips #1-4 apply to men and pre-menopausal women as well.

  1. Continue taking her calcium-magnesium supplement (1200 mg calcium plus 600 mg magnesium).

  2. Add a bone health supplement that contains ipriflavone, a soy product that has been show to help with the absorption of the calcium-magnesium supplement and increase bone density naturally. Diets high in soy protein also reduce menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes.

  3. Avoid "calcium robbers," such as soda, sugar, and a diet high in meat protein. (See prior articles also posted on my web site.)

  4. Carefully increase weight-bearing exercise, starting with simple floor exercises, then adding ball exercises, and then, as she is ready, adding light, progressive weight training.

  5. She is reading two books from my lending library to bring herself up to speed on natural hormone replacement therapy. Because I am not an expert in this field, I have recommended that she consult a knowledgeable Naturopath or Medical Doctor about alternatives to pharmaceutical hormone replacement therapy.

Remember, building strong bones really starts in childhood. Starting out right with lifelong habits will yield tremendous benefits and help prevent painful compression fractures and stooping posture.

References:

Taking Your Back to the Future by Michael Gazdar, D.C., C.C.S.P.
Essentials of Skeletal Radiology by Terry Yochum, D.C., D.A.C.B.R. and Lindsay Rowe, D.C., D.A.C.B.R.
What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause by John Lee, M.D.
Natural Hormone Replacement Therapy by Jonathan Wright, M.D. and John Morgenthaler. (Available at the Professional Plaza 102 Pharmacy on NE 102nd Avenue between Glisan and Burnside in Northeast Portland. This is a "compounding pharmacy" that can make special hormone replacements. Compounding pharmacies are also located at Nature's stores around the Portland metropolitan area.)

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