The patients I see daily, primarily women, are concerned about osteopenia and osteoporosis. They are in my office because they have GI symptoms: heartburn, indigestion, nausea, chest pain, stomach pain, and swallowing problems. Many have already started on treatment for osteoporosis or osteopenia, and have experienced worsening of their stomach issues, or developed new stomach issues. Most have done an online search and discovered that the medications being prescribed, either cause or worsen stomach issues, and cause many other side effects. Virtually all of them are taking calcium to treat their bones.
In medical school they taught us that calcium is the treatment of choice, but calcium, although important to bones, cannot stop or reverse thinning bones. After all, the intestines cannot absorb more than 600 milligrams of calcium daily and most calcium supplements on the market are 1200 milligrams or more.
Osteopenia and osteoporosis are caused by many factors: genetics, chronic illness, autoimmune problems, poor nutrition, and exercise habits. While many of the medications developed for this condition are effective or appear to be, virtually all of them have side effects, and most can only be used for a limited time. If osteopenia and osteoporosis are long term issues, what good is it to take a medication with its potential side effects, for a short time, and then stop them because of long term side effects, many of which can be more devastating than the disease itself.
At Elite we uncover the underlying causes of the thinning bones and correct those causes. Given all the negative press it is understandable that most women, and some men, are hesitant to take hormone replacement treatment, while it is clear that this approach may be superior for many people. The American Obstetrics Association lists osteoporosis as an absolute indication to use hormone replacement therapy, and we know testosterone is a necessary component of not only strong muscles, but of strong bones as well.
We know from the past two years of the Pandemic that the “experts” have been wrong more than right. Functional medicine considers all the science and applies those principles. My functional approach starts with dietary changes and relies upon calcium, vitamin D, strontium, and exercise, while at the same time reducing inflammation in the body. At times, it is necessary to incorporate bio-identical hormone replacement therapy.
If you would like to find out about how this holistic approach can benefit you, please contact us to schedule a free 15-minute consultation, our “Discovery Call”, with Dr. Plumser, during which you will hear what we can do for your bones, and for your overall health.