Osteoporosis, which means bones becoming porous, is a disease in which the bone weakens due to deterioration and becomes fragile. Loss of bone tissues and small bone mass deteriorates the bones. Generally, no symptoms are seen due to which the patients don't know they are suffering from it and come to know about it when a fracture occurs. For this reason, silent disease is the name given to it. Hip, spine, wrist, and other bones become prone to fractures. Globally 9 million people have fractures due to osteoporosis each year.
Causes of osteoporosis
Some people are more prone to osteoporosis. Hereditary reasons serve as a cause in 80% of patients, while 20% is attributed to poor lifestyle.
People having more likely to develop osteoporosis:
Elderly Patients with a history of osteoporosis in the family
Women undergoing menopause
Patients taking some medications
Low mineral density of bones causes osteoporosis. But the reason for bone density to fall lower than normal is still not known. Lower bone density but not so low as that in osteoporosis is given a diagnosis of osteopenia. Osteopenia can then worsen and turn into osteoporosis, especially if it is not treated.
To understand osteoporosis bone mechanism needs to be analyzed. Bones are living tissues that have changes throughout life. Old bones are broken down, and new ones are formed. The deterioration of bones is way faster than they could be replaced when the rebuilding process slows down.
Symptoms of osteoporosis
No symptoms of osteoporosis are seen. Low impact fractures seem as the ﬁrst symptom, which is caused by minimal trauma such as minor falls. Hip, spine, and wrist are more prone to fractures. Weakening and decrease in spine bones(vertebrae) can cause back pain in some people. Vertebral crush fractures are the name given to such types of fractures. Generally, the fractures are seen in mid-back or lower back. These take place even without any injury. The spine can curve, and lessen in size of multiple vertebrae get affected. In some cases, due to little space below the lungs, there can be difﬁculty in breathing. The chances of having hip and wrist fractures also increase if there is a vertebral crush fracture.
Ayurveda classiﬁes osteoporosis as a Vata disorder. Condensing of space makes Vata dosha, and Ayurveda believes that osteoporosis is caused by excessive amounts of air and ether.
Some speciﬁc herbs used to treat osteoporosis are:
1)Harjor (Cissus quadrangularis): This herb is used in Ayurveda due to its bone healing properties. To treat the fracture, it can be used as a decoction or can be externally applied. By testing it on animals, it is seen that cortical bones are thickened by the phytoestrogens found in harjor. Cortical bone is the hard topmost layer of the bone, which strengthens the bone.
2)Arjuna (Terminalia arjuna): The bark of this native Indian tree has a lot of beneﬁts. Cardioprotection and bone health are provided by the decoction prepared using the bark of the tree. Bone problems, including the healing of fractures and treatment of bone diseases, are all treated using the bark of the tree in powdered form. Bone health is improved by bioactive agents are found in the bark of the tree. Some of them are:
3)Guggul (Commiphora Mukul): It is one of the fundamental ayurvedic herbs. Generally, it is prescribed for the treatment of obesity and high cholesterol. But it strengthens and heals bone as well due to the medical ingredient resin found in the plant.
Other herbs available for treating osteoporosis are: