Before we look at whether osteoporosis can be cured, we need to understand what causes it – which is where things get a little confusing.
Scientists aren’t exactly clear what causes osteoporosis in men. The NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Disease National Resource Centre lists almost 20 potential causes, including glucocorticoid medications (and other immunosuppressive drugs), low testosterone levels, excessive alcohol consumption and smoking. There is also likely to be a genetic element too, with a family history of osteoporosis a risk-factor.
While lifestyle factors and prescription drugs can cause osteoporosis in women, in many cases, the hormone changes that occur during menopause directly affect bone density. Specifically, falling oestrogen levels can lead to what the NHS describes as “a rapid decrease in bone density”.
Current treatments for osteoporosis typically included prescription drugs known as bisphosphonates. Some people may receive medications known as selective oestrogen receptor modulators (SERMs). In severe cases where bone density is very low, patients may be prescribed parathyroid hormone that can encourage bone growth, although there can be serious side effects,
The most common medications currently prescribed for osteoporosis are designed to maintain bone density. This can have a positive impact in halting the progress of osteoporosis, but it does little to target the causes of osteoporosis. Neither bisphosphonates nor SERMs encourage the body to generate new bone, and, as a result, won’t increase bone density.
Alongside prescription medications, people diagnosed with osteoporosis are encouraged to make lifestyle changes (such as exercising regularly, giving up smoking and eating more healthily) and taking supplements (vitamin D and calcium, as well as others).
Increasing physical activity, eating a better diet, and taking supplements are better for your body and your bones. However, they’re unlikely to “cure” osteoporosis.
One study found that calcium supplements are “unlikely to lead to a clinically significant reduction in risk of fracture.” That doesn’t mean that people shouldn’t take supplements, or change their lifestyles, but there are no studies that establish doing so will cure osteoporosis.
Our bones are at their strongest in our early 30s and from then on lose strength and density. Losing bone density is an unavoidable part of the ageing process and, for any of us over the age of 40, weaker bones are inevitable.
However, making lifestyle changes and taking supplements can have a positive impact on bone health and in many cases slow, or even stop bone density loss. If you’ve been diagnosed with osteoporosis, it’s likely you’ll be prescribed drugs that help to maintain your bone density. There are also other treatments that can help, including Low-intensity Vibration (LiV).
Low-intensity Vibration is a medically approved treatment that can be used to help strengthen bones and, in some studies, has been shown to increase bone density. Marodyne LiV is an approved medical device that is calibrated to deliver a precise vibration to the body.
Standing on Marodyne LiV has been shown to halt bone loss associated with osteoporosis. In some studies, the treatment has been shown to reverse bone loss and actually create new bone tissue.
As we’ve established, current treatments prescribed for osteoporosis are primarily focused on halting bone loss and maintaining current bone density. The drugs used will hopefully reduce the risk of fractures and breaks, but they are unsafe to take for extended periods.
Lifestyle changes, including regular exercise and a healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals (or improved with supplements) can have a positive impact on bone health. “Numerous studies have shown that weight-bearing exercise can help to slow bone loss,” say the experts at Harvard.
There are other therapies, such as Low-intensity Vibration that can help improve your bone strength and density.
Current treatments, therapies and supplements mean that those diagnosed with osteoporosis have a long future. “The average life expectancy of osteoporosis patients is in excess of 15 years in women younger than 75 years and in men younger than 60 years,” say scientists.
To ensure you stay fit and flexible for as long as possible, you’ll need to ensure your osteoporosis is diagnosed as early as possible and you act immediately.
We’ve provided some information and advice on how to manage osteoporosis, including guidance on some evidence-based treatments and therapies which you can find here.
The sooner that you make lifestyle changes and use therapies such as LiV, the greater their impact on your bone strength and density.
There is no cure for osteoporosis, however Low-intensity Vibration is a natural treatment that can help strengthen your bones.
How does it work? LiV stimulates the body’s stem cells, including those in the legs, to encourage bone growth and maintain bone health into old age. The Marodyne LiV platform is calibrated to work at a precise frequency (30hz) to deliver a positive pulse to the body that encourages cells to grow and stop bone loss. Low-intensity Vibration can benefit patients of all ages and has been proven by scientific research to have no side effects or contraindications.
You can learn more about the benefits of LiV here.
Scientists across the world are working to identify new ways to diagnose, treat and cure osteoporosis.
Recent studies have focused on what proteins do in the bone-building process, how MALP cells could help rebuild bone and the role UV light can play as a treatment.
The truth is we don’t know whether we will be able to cure osteoporosis. Loss of bone density has traditionally been considered a natural part of the ageing process and it may not be possible to cure it.
However, as we’ve seen, taking actions to protect your bones can significantly benefit your long-term health and wellbeing. Making changes to your lifestyle, taking supplements and introducing medically proven treatments such as LiV to your life can help to prevent bone loss, maintain bone density and combat osteoporosis.