COPING WITH OSTEOPOROSIS
Osteoporosis is a bone disease where the bone cannot absorb and generate calcium smoothly, therefore the bone density decreases, becomes porous and brittle. There is no symptom other than ache and pain of the bone, but the bone can easily fracture even with small trauma because it cannot withstand the
A female patient in her fifty’s recently visited the clinic with sudden low back pain. The patient got diagnosed as osteoporosis and lumbar compression fracture. She stated that she slipped and fell while leaving the bathroom, and flopped down on the floor for a while, but did not get injured greatly. Few days later, however, any sleeping position was uncomfortable, and there was sudden pain. In her case, even without big trauma, there can be compression fracture where mild trauma can compress the vertebra flat or spondylolisthesis where there is misalignment of top and bottom vertebrae. Severe lumbar pain and whole leg tingling and numbness can follow. Treatment for alleviating pain and regular maintenance are required for this case. Women are at risk four times more than men are.
Korean Medicine suggests application of Restorative Herb Medicine or bone strengthening herbal formula such as Joint Cream (Gwanjulgo). This medicine nourishes the “Jing” essence and “Sui” marrow, and it supplements not only the Zhen Qi (True Qi) but also Yuan Qi (Original Qi). The mind becomes clear while the five Zang organs become active, thus assist in appropriate circulation of Qi in the body. Picking up on regular exercise when young is important is nourishing the Yin and blood, which deplete with age.
Light walking, jogging, stretching, and other cardio workouts for thirty minutes everyday are essential because exercise can increase bone density. Swimming is recommended if there is problem in weight and joints because it does not affect the joints. Beneficial food such as milk, anchovies, seaweed, laver, tofu, kelp, and other calcium-rich food are strongly recommended. However, excessive calcium intake with calcium or tablets for osteoporosis can put you in risk of urethral stones, and can cause side effects in kidney function. Avoid food that depletes calcium absorption, such as alcohol, cigarette, caffeine, salt, high protein food.
Although degeneration of bones due to aging is not preventable, delaying is possible with usual healthy lifestyle habits. Prevention of any disease is the best cure. The following are Gou Qi Zi (Goji berry seeds) and Du Zhong (Eucommia bark) herbal teas beneficial for kidney function and bone strengthening:
*Gou Qi Zi (Gouji berry seed) tea: Wash and drain 20g of Gouji berry seeds, and boil in 1ml of water. Decoct until water reduces half of its volume, drain, and drink.
*Du Zhong (Eucommia bark) tea: Decoct pre-washed 20g of Du Zhong with half liter of water in low heat for thirty minutes. Drain with a sieve, store the decoction in the refrigerator, and drink with some honey.
Published by KoreaTimes under <Health Column> on February 18th, 2014.