Osteoporosis is one of the most important diseases of women especially of climacteric age group. Osteoporosis is a silent killer which slowly and steadily makes itself known to the physician by means of fractures in long standing cases. The incidence of osteoporosis is rising in every country of the world especially in developing countries such as India.
Osteoporosis, a silently progressing metabolic bone disease that leads to loss of bone mass and osteoporotic fractures are a common cause of morbidity and mortality in adult Indian men and women. This review of the international patterns of osteoporosis reveals two distinctive clinical features OSTEOPOROSIS, literally meaning “porous bones”, is the breakdown of bones, which together constitute the hardest part of the human body. Over 300 million people suffer from osteoporosis in India without realizing that every osteoporosis-related bone fracture doubles the risk of death.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines osteoporosis as a bone mineral density (or bone mass) that is 2.5 standard deviations below peak bone mass. Those with standard deviations of 1-2.5 below the norm are said to have osteopenia or low bone mass. Individuals within one standard deviation below the norm are considered to be at low risk of osteoporotic fracture.
Much in the manner that asymptomatic conditions such as hypertension and dyslipidaemia predispose to stroke and myocardial infarction, respectively, a low bone density (reflecting poor bone health) predisposes to osteoporotic fractures. With increasing longevity of the Indian population, it is now being realized that, as in the West, osteoporotic fractures are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the elderly. Based on 2001 census, approximately 163million Indians are above the age of 50; this number is expected to increase to 230 million by 2015.
TYPES OF OSTEOPOROSIS
Osteoporosis may be either a primary or a secondary form. Primary osteoporosis is the more common form and is due to the typical age-related loss of bone from skeleton. It is classified as type 1 and type 2. Secondary osteoporosis results from the presence of other diseases or conditions that predispose to bone loss and is classified as type 3.
Type 1 or postmenopausal osteoporosis occurs in 5% to 20% of women, affecting those within 15 to 20 years of menopause, with a peak incidence in the 60s and early 70s.
Type 2 or senile osteoporosis occurs in women or men more than 70 years of age and usually is associated with decreased bone formation along with decreased ability of the kidney to produce 1,25(OH)2D3. The vitamin D deficiency results in decreased calcium absorption, which increases the PTH level and therefore bones resorption.
Type 3 or secondary osteoporosis occurs equally in men and women and at any age. In men, most cases are due to disease or to drug therapy, but in 30% to 45% of affected individuals no cause can be identified. In various series of osteoporotic patients, secondary osteoporosis accounts for about 40% of the total number of osteoporotic fractures seen.
CLINICAL FEATURES OF OSTEOPOROSIS
- Hip fractures
- Vertebral fractures
- Other fractures
- Change in body shape i.e.kyphosis, protruded abdomen, height loss, decrease pulmonary capacity, reflex oesophagitis.
In Organon of Medicine, Great Master Dr. Samuel Hahnemann mentioned in Aphorism 80 the monstrous internal chronic miasm- The Psora, the only real fundamental cause and producer of all other numerous, innumerable, forms of disease like scoliosis, kyphosis, caries, and cancer etc…Homoeopathic management depends on the symptoms similarity. As mentioned in Aphorism 3 of Organon of Medicine, Indicated medicine will be prescribed. The drug intervention planning has a very wide range in terms of selection and follow-up. The most widely acceptable approach is as under:
- Constitutional drugs
- Anti-miasmatic drugs
- Symptomatic drugs
- Palliative drugs
- Intercurrent prescription
Homeopathic remedies can not reverse existing bone loss, but can bring the body into better balance and help its minerals and nutrients be used efficiently. Remedies are also helpful for aching bones and prevention or healing of fractures. Though bone loss is not reversible, constitutional homeopathic treatment may help to slow the process down. All of the following homeopathic remedies can be used to alleviate the symptoms of osteoporosis in women; however, they will not reverse the existing bone density loss. Their importance lies in their ability to bring the body into a better balance and help it in efficient use of minerals and nutrients. The use of the given homeopathic remedies can also prove beneficial in alleviating aching bones and help in prevention of the occurrence of fractures or breaks.
As per Samuel Lilienthal’s “Homoeopathic Therapeutics” page no 90, following can be used for the treatment of osteoporosis:
Bones, disease of:
|Asa foetida||Aurum||Bartya Carb||Belladonna||Benzoic Acid|
|Berberis||Bufo||Cadmium S||Calcarea F||Calcarea P|
|Calcarea C||Capsicum||Carbo An||Cinchona||Cistus Can|
|Hepar Sulph||Iodum||Kali Bich||Kali iod||Kreosotum|
|Ledum||Lactic Acid||Lithium carb||Lycopodium||Manganum|
|Mercurius||Mezereum||Natrum sulph||Nitric acid||Phosphorous|
Management of the Underlying Disease: Risk factor reduction
- To educate the patient about the disease.
- TSH testing for thyroid hormone replacement patients should be performed.
- Reducing risk factors like alcohol abuse and tobacco chewing.
- Diet-calcium supplements about 1 000mgs per dosage.
- Vitamin –D is beneficial.
- Regular exercise routine is must like hiking, dancing,jogging etc.
National Mass Media Officer – YOUTH HOMOEOPATHY ASSOCIATION
Mittra Homoeo Clinic,