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The Link Between Thyroid Conditions & Osteoporosis

There are numerous links between thyroid conditions and osteoporosis.  In fact, both people with hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can be at an increased risk of developing osteoporosis under certain situations.  The goal of this article is to make you aware of such situations, which will help you do what is necessary to prevent the development of this condition.

How People With Hyperthyroidism Can Develop Osteoporosis: Untreated hyperthyroidism accelerates bone resorption and over time can lead to osteoporosis.  So in addition to experiencing potentially life-threatening symptoms such as an increased heart rate, this is yet another reason why you don’t want to leave hyperthyroidism untreated.  So whether you decide to take anti-thyroid drugs, receive radioactive iodine therapy, or follow a natural thyroid treatment protocol, if you have hyperthyroidism then it’s extremely important to treat it.

Which of these treatments is better in preventing osteoporosis in people with hyperthyroidism?  Well, I’m obviously biased towards natural thyroid treatment methods, primarily because they get to the underlying cause of the condition, and potentially can restore the health of someone who has a hyperthyroid condition.  However, even managing the symptoms of thyroid disease through the use of anti-thyroid drugs can help reduce the likelihood of you developing osteoporosis. 

How People With Hypothyroidism Can Develop Osteoporosis:  People with hypothyroidism can also develop osteoporosis if they are taking too much thyroid hormone.  Once again, many of these people can benefit from following a natural thyroid treatment protocol, as if they are able to restore their health back to normal or manage their symptoms naturally, then they won’t need to worry about taking synthetic or natural thyroid hormone for the rest of their life, which of course means there won’t be a risk of taking too much medication and developing osteoporosis as a result of this.

What’s sad is that instead of looking into natural ways of preventing osteoporosis, many medical doctors will just give drugs to prevent this condition from developing.  For example, if someone with hypothyroidism is doing well from a symptomatic perspective, but if they have a low bone density test, then some medical doctors will prescribe medication for the patient to take in order to prevent osteoporosis from developing.

This once again is where natural thyroid treatments might be beneficial.  If someone is doing well on thyroid hormone, but the dosage is so high that it is affecting the patient’s bone density, then it makes sense to try to find the underlying cause of the condition so that the person might not have to take thyroid hormone daily forever.  Of course this isn’t always possible, as there are some people with hypothyroidism who can’t be cured, and will therefore need to take synthetic or natural thyroid hormone for the rest of their life.  The problem is that most people with thyroid conditions don’t even attempt to find out what the underlying cause of their condition is, as most people simply listen to their medical doctor’s recommendations and take the medication daily to manage the symptoms.

Preventing Osteoporosis Without Taking Prescription Drugs

For those people who have a thyroid condition which can’t be cured, and therefore may need to take thyroid medication for the rest of their life, how can they prevent osteoporosis from developing without relying on prescription drugs to accomplish this?  Two ways of preventing osteoporosis are through diet and exercise.  With regards to diet, many people think that obtaining a lot of calcium in the form of dairy products and/or calcium supplements it the best way to prevent this condition from developing. 

While sufficient calcium intake is important, dairy isn’t necessarily the best method of ensuring a sufficient intake.  The key is to eat a diet consisting mostly of whole foods, including many green leafy vegetables, which are high in calcium.  If you do decide to take a daily calcium supplement, then the quality of the supplement is very important, as many calcium supplements sold by both retail and health food stores don’t absorb properly.  I personally recommend high quality supplements and herbal remedies that are specifically designed to support healthy bone tissue and maintain a healthy bone density.  This doesn’t mean you can’t choose a quality calcium supplement at your local health food store, as you might be able to, but once again, you need to pay attention to the quality.

As for exercising, in addition to engaging in 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise three to five days a week for your overall health, you also want to try including some weight bearing exercises as well.  This doesn’t mean you need to be lifting heavy weights, but if you spend 15 to 20 minutes three or four days each week doing some weight bearing exercises then this, along with eating well, will in most cases be sufficient to prevent osteoporosis from developing.

Just to play it safe, you also might want to obtain a bone density test to make sure your bones are healthy and strong.  While females are at an increased risk of developing osteoporosis, men can develop this condition too, so I don’t think it’s a bad idea for anyone over the age of forty to obtain a bone density test.   

Finally, it’s important to understand that certain medications in addition to thyroid hormone can lead to the development of osteoporosis.  For example, cortisone is another drug that can decrease bone density, which is why people who are placed on large dosages of glucocorticoids over a long period of time are at a high risk of developing osteoporosis.  So in addition to eating healthy and exercising, you also want to be aware of the potential side effects of any prescription drugs you are taking, especially if you are taking them over a prolonged period of time.

In summary, not all people with thyroid conditions are at an increased risk of developing osteoporosis.  However, those people with untreated hyperthyroidism or who have hypothyroidism and are taking thyroid hormone have an increased risk of developing osteoporosis.  In addition to following the advice I gave in this article, you might also want to check out the following web page by Mary Shomon, as it’s entitled “The Thyroid Treatment/Osteoporosis Controversy”, and she gives some valuable information that can also help prevent you from developing osteoporosis.  Here is the link to this web page:

Other Articles You Might Like To Read:

5 Essential Supplements For Optimal Thyroid Health

Using Bioidentical Hormones To Restore Thyroid Health

How Gallbladder Problems Can Affect Thyroid Health

Thyroid Diet Tip: Don’t Consume Too Much Protein

Why You Can’t Rely Solely On Thyroid Blood Tests

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