How to Treat Osteoporosis Without Drugs

According to the National Institutes of Health, as many as 10 million American men and women are diagnosed with osteoporosis, and the disease is responsible for more than 1.5 million bone fractures every year. Osteoporosis is a medical disorder that results in a loss of bone strength and density. A number of medications are approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat osteoporosis, but these drugs can cause side effects and are not effective in all cases. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to treat osteoporosis without drugs to decrease bone loss, improve bone density and maintain mobility.

Things You'll Need
Calcium supplements Vitamin D supplements Magnesium supplements

Visit your doctor for a bone density scan and blood work to determine if you suffer from any vitamin or mineral deficiencies. You should also undergo a complete physical examination and work with your doctor to calculate your true risk of developing fractures related to osteoporosis. The World Health Organization has a useful tool, called FRAX, that examines all risk factors and provides a 10-year risk fracture rating.

Stop smoking and drinking excessively, as these activities have been linked to the development and progression of osteoporosis. You may also want to consider medications for asthma, allergies and arthritis other than steroids. Steroids used to treat these disorders may significantly increase bone loss.

Eat a balanced diet full of vitamins and minerals, specifically calcium, Vitamin D and magnesium. If your dietary sources of these vitamins and minerals are inadequate due to medical reasons or allergies, you should take a daily supplement.

Engage in at least 30 minutes of weight-bearing exercise each day, with your doctor's permission. Walking, jogging, weight lifting, dancing, stair climbing and tennis are activities that will help improve the density of your bones while improving your overall health. According to the National Institutes of Health, weight-bearing exercise combats osteoporosis because it forces your body to work against gravity.

Prevent bone fractures by taking steps to reduce your risk. Participating in yoga will improve your balance and coordination, and moving objects out of pathways inside and around your home will reduce the likelihood of tripping and falling. Use care when walking up and down stairs, and avoid wearing shoes with slippery soles.

Get plenty of sunshine, but remember to take precautions against sun cancer. The average person can obtain sufficient vitamin D from short periods of exposure to the sun each day. It is important to note, however, that the beneficial rays of the sun that generate vitamin D cannot penetrate glass. Therefore, you cannot obtain enough vitamin D riding in a car with the windows up or sitting inside your home with the curtains open.