Complementary Medicine

The best of natural and pharmaceutical medicine.

Is Your Antidepressant or Indigestion Medication Rotting Your Bones?

Natural remedies and preventative measures for avoiding osteoporosis

Although the drug companies are quick to teach physicians about the benefits of medications, we are not always as well educated about their toxicities. Because of this, it helps for you to be an educated consumer.

Loss of bone density, called “osteoporosis” or “osteopenia,” is becoming quite common. Although a number of expensive medications are being used to treat this problem, they can cause significant side effects. Although still helpful, one can often avoid the need for these medications by using natural therapies and even simple prevention.

For example, many medications that treat indigestion (called “acid blockers”), as well as antidepressants, have been associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis (loss of bone density). This doesn't mean that you should never use these medications. It simply means that it's good to educate yourself about the natural alternatives.

For most people (your physician can tell you if you are an exception), acid blockers are best used short term while treating the underlying problem. In most cases, indigestion is not caused by excess acid, but rather by poor digestion. You can improve digestion by simple measures such as:

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  1. Taking plant-based digestive enzymes with meals.
  2. Drinking warm liquids with instead of ice drinks meals (think of the pot of tea served in Chinese restaurants). Cold temperatures can inactivate your body's own digestive enzymes, which work best at a temperature of 98.6.
  3. Natural remedies such as mastic gum 500 mg twice a day, DGL licorice or licorice tea, or Limonene can be as or more effective than acid blocker medications.
  4. Alcohol can aggravate both osteoporosis and indigestion.  So remember moderation if you have these problems.

Similarly, mild depression may be more effectively treated naturally with exercise, fish oil, nutritional and hormonal support, and learning to become aware of and expressing your feelings than by using antidepressants.

More Good News

Safe and relatively cheap natural remedies for osteoporosis can be far more effective than medications — and much safer. Nutrients that help build bone density include strontium (340-680 mg daily) which is almost twice as effective as medication, magnesium, boron, vitamins  K & D, calcium and others. These can usually be found in combination, making supplementation easy. Meanwhile, help build strong bones by going for a daily walk outside. Both exercise and sunshine (which makes vitamin D) help build strong bones. Meanwhile, when it comes to getting sunshine, a good rule of thumb is “avoid sunburn — not sunshine!”

More information on treating indigestion, depression, and osteoporosis naturally can be found on my website. You'll be amazed at how effective natural treatments can be!

Love and Blessings,

Jacob Teitelbaum

Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., internist and author of From Fatigued to Fantastic!, researches treatments for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and fibromyalgia.

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