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Best Panchkarma Treatment

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis

The literal meaning of osteoporosis is "Bones with holes" (Osteum: bone, pore: hole). Osteoporosis is a condition that is characterized by the decrease in the bone density which decreases its inherent strength. It is disorder in which the bones become weak immensely and become brittle or fragile. As a result, a person suffering from osteoporosis is at high risk of bone breaking and fractures. A bone with osteoporosis appears like a honeycomb when viewed under the microscope. According to WHO it is one of the most common diseases in the world and approximately 10 million cases are registered every year. Though it affects both males and females, it is more common in women after menopause. It is one of main reasons of bone breakage in the elderly. It is a chronic disorder and can last upto years or can even be lifelong.

Pathogenesis

Bone formation occurs by specialized cells called osteocytes and it is a continuous process; around 10% of the entire bone mass is undergoing remodeling at any time. As a result, a balance is constantly maintained between bone resorption and bone formation in the body. An imbalance occurs when osteoclasts (cells degrading bone matrix) degrade the bone matrix at a faster rate than osteoblasts are rebuilding it and leads to osteoporosis. 3 main mechanisms are involved in the generation of osteoporosis: Inadequate peak bone mass (bone does not receive sufficient mass and strength during formation), Inadequate bone formation during remodeling andHigh amount of bone resorption.

Bone is composed of calcium, protein and collagen - all of which impart strength to the bone. When the level of calcium decreases in the blood, bone resorption is triggered by a interplay of hormone signaling to ensure that the calcium levels are maintained in the blood.

Why women are more at risk?

Estrogen and testosterone, the major sex hormones in female and male respectively, play an important role in bone formation. In general, women tend to have thinner bones than men. An average woman attains menopause at approximately 45-55 years of age. During menopause, the estrogen levels decrease drastically in a woman's body. Lack of estrogen stimulates bone resorption and decreases bone deposition. That is why women have more chances of developing osteoporosis than men. Women lose around 10% of their total bone mass in the first 5 years of staining menopause.

Symptoms

There are no clear or early outward signs and symptoms and a person may not know that a he or she is suffering from osteoporosis until a fracture occurs. However, weakening of the spine in old age may lead to stoop or bending of the back. Pain in the joints can also be felt if one is suffering from osteoporosis.

Risk factors

Being female puts one at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis but this condition cannot be changed. However, there are certain factors which are dangerous both for male and female. Low intake of calcium, Low levels of vitamin D, People have 65 years of age, Smoking and tobacco intake, Heavy drinking, Excessive intake of caffeine, Lack of exercise and other physical activity, Thyroid imbalance, Long term use of steroid for the treatment of asthma and arthritis, Endocrine problem, Early menopause (before 45 years of age), Chronic hepatic (liver) and renal (kidney) failure, Cancer, COPD, Low BMI (body mass index), Family history of osteoporosis puts one at risk.

Fractures due to osteoporosis

Generally, any bone can break if a person is suffering from osteoporosis. However, some bones are more prone to injury in this disorder than the others:

  • Hip fracture (due to cracking)
  • Spine fracture (due to collapse of the vertebrae)
  • Rib and wrist fracture (due to loss of bone strength)

Can osteoporosis be prevented?

Certain alterations in lifestyle choices can help to prevent osteoporosis to a great extent; some of which are listed below-

Increase in calcium and vitamin D content in diet: Dietary sources include dairy products like milk, curd, yoghurt, cheeses, green leafy vegetables like broccoli, fortified cereals, soft fish like salmon and tuna, cod liver. It is to be noted that most vitamin D doesn't come from foods; hence moderate exposure to sunlight everyday is necessary because vitamin D plays a pivotal role in calcium uptake. Giving up smoking and alcohol, Exercises like yoga promote flexibility and balance and can reduce the risk of fractures and falls, Weight bearing exercises like walking promote healthy bones and cause strengthening of muscles.

Panchakarma and osteoporosis

Majja is the 6th dhattu of the body; its main function is oleation and strengthening of the body. Ayurveda says that imbalance in Vata leads to Asthi-NMajjakshaya (osteoporosis). Hence eating certain foods ad Virana (lifestyle habits) can cause the body to regain its inherent Vata balance. Porous bones are referred to as asthisaushirya in ayurveda. Basti therapy, which is considered to be mother of all treatments in panchakarma, is one of the major ways for the prevention and cure of osteoporosis. In Majja Basti, a decoction of 60 ml of buffalo bone marrow mixed with Asthi Shrinkhala pulp powder is administered to the patient for 16 days through the rectum. This basti dravya absorbs all the doshas from the sole of the feet to the head. During this period, a person is asked to abstain from bitter and pungent foods along with madak dravya (cigarette and alcohol mainly, along with meat and caffeinated beverages). Asthi Shrinkhala is known to have analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties; hence this kriya helps to reduce the pain and swelling of joints to a great extent. Administration of MajjaBasti significantly reduces osteoporosis and the presence of Asthi Shrinkhala in the decoction prevents further bone degeneration. Researchers have found that Asthi Shrinkhala is rich in ketosterone that promotes good bone health and easy healing of fractures. It also inhibits the formation of free radical in the body and enhances the peroxide levels. Increased mobilization of fibroblasts and chondroblasts promote bone regeneration at a faster rate. Thus, Majja Basti with Asthi Shrinkhala, when supplemented with the extracts of Cissus quandrangularis extract in diet, promotes bone health and prevent osteoporosis.

frequently asked questions

Osteoporosis usually doesn't show symptoms in the early stages. When the bones become weak, signs start to appear. Mostly the first sign of osteoporosis appears to be back pain which could occur, because of a fracture. Later, comes the weight loss.

Some foods which may cause problems during osteoporosis include soda or carbonated drinks, refined sugar, fried foods, carbohydrates, alcohol, pro-inflammatory fats, and non-organic fruits. Moreover, you should also limit the use of salt in your food.

As per the recommendations from physicians, walking is a good exercise to prevent osteoporosis. Physicians also recommend hiking, weight-bearing exercises, and resistance to prevent osteoporosis. These exercises strengthen your bones along with your muscles and prevent osteoporosis.

Pain is not one of the symptoms of osteoporosis. During this medical condition, a patient does not feel any pain either. However, when bones get too weak or if a fracture occurs, a patient could suffer from severe pain.

Good nutrition plays the primary role in the treatment of osteoporosis. The recent development in drugs has made the cure for osteoporosis possible. Along with the prescribed medicine, good nutrition and exercise are also important to cure osteoporosis.