Osteoporosis Causes and Treatment: What you Need to Know

by Dr. Melissa Carr, Dr. TCM

July 12, 2019

Did you know that osteoporosis affects almost 1.4 million Canadians? Believe it or not, fractures from this condition are more common than heart attacks, strokes, and breast cancer combined.

That’s a big deal because about 28% of women and 37% of men who suffer a hip fracture die within the following year.

In this article, we’ll explore what osteoporosis is and what you can do to build bone strength and reduce the chance of bone fractures.

What is osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis—literally meaning “porous bone”—is a disease characterized by a loss of bone mass and density, leaving bones brittle, weak, and more prone to fractures. Patients may also experience height loss or curvature of the spine. Osteoporosis can affect a variety of bones in the body, including the hip, spine, wrist, ribs, pelvis, and upper arm.

Osteoporosis: the silent disease

Osteoporosis can sneak up on you. Known as the “silent thief,” no one can feel their bones weakening, so it is often not until a fracture occurs when a proper diagnosis is made. And because many with a spine fracture don’t even know about it—66% are painless—height loss is another sign that the bones may be weakening.

It’s important not to wait until a bone breaks before diagnosing osteoporosis. If you are over the age of 50, have your height measured annually. Bone density tests can be done to determine an osteoporosis diagnosis. It can also find out if someone has osteopenia, a loss of bone density that is important to address so it doesn’t progress to osteoporosis.

What are the causes of osteoporosis?

There is no single cause for osteoporosis. Inactivity, aging, smoking, alcohol consumption, hormonal changes, and poor dietary habits can all contribute to bone loss.

Long-term use of certain medications can also affect your bones, such as antiseizure medicines, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and steroids (glucocorticoids or corticosteroids).

Additionally, there are a host of diseases and conditions that can lead to bone loss, including cancer, autoimmune, digestive, blood, neurological, and hormonal disorders. It’s important to discuss the possibility of osteoporosis with your healthcare provider if you have of these disorders.

What are the ways to build bone health?

Fortunately, osteoporosis is a preventable disease. Engaging in weight-bearing exercises like lifting weights, jumping rope, jogging, hiking, and climbing stairs can help to maintain healthy bone mass.

Healthy diet choices can also help stave off osteoporosis. Upping your intake of calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin D, and protein can help you avoid bone weakness.

Japanese red reishi mushrooms

Osteoporosis is most common for menopausal women, with at least 1 in 3 women experiencing a bone fracture due to osteoporosis in their lifetime. For men, the numbers are 1 in 5.

The gender differential is because women generally have lighter, thinner bones than men to start with. In addition, women tend to live longer, and the rate of bone breakdown starts to surpass bone building by age 40. This means that we have to make efforts to slow the rate of bone loss as we age. In addition, estrogen helps to maintain bone density, so menopause or any time of low hormone levels or no or infrequent menstrual periods can accelerate the progression toward osteoporosis.

Mikei and Reishi cultivationAnimal studies of Ganoderma lucidum—reishi mushroom—have shown improvement in bone density in females with bone loss. They have demonstrated that reishi both supported estrogen activity (without a substantial effect on the uterus) and improved absorption of minerals related to bone health, such as iron, calcium, and phosphorus.

Your bones support you. Isn’t it time you made sure to support your bones?

Dr. Melissa Carr is a registered Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine with a B.Sc. in Kinesiology. In practice since 2001, Dr. Carr has a passion for sharing health information. She has been a nutrition instructor and a health consultant, lecturer, and writer for 24 Hours Vancouver newspaper, Fraser Health Authority, UBC, and the David Suzuki Foundation, amongst others. www.activetcm.com


> Back to Health Articles

All information on this site is provided for informational or educational purposes only. Information presented here is not intended to substitute the advice provided to you by your physician or healthcare practitioner. You should not use any information contained in our site to self-diagnose or personally treat any medical condition or disease. If you have or suspect you have a medical condition, you are urged to contact your healthcare practitioner.

Taking natural health supplements should be a decision made by the individual themselves and based on personal research. It is recommended for all individuals to consult their healthcare practitioner prior to starting any new medication. Individuals should not discontinue current medication without first consulting their doctor.

Privacy Policy

This Privacy Policy describes how your personal information is collected, used, and shared when you visit or make a purchase from our websites which includes www.mikei.ca, www.mikei.com, www.mikeireishi.com, www.mikei.co.uk and www.nikkeicanada.com (the “Sites”).


When you visit the Sites, we automatically collect certain information about your device, including information about your web browser, IP address, time zone, and some of the cookies that are installed on your device. Additionally, as you browse the Sites, we collect information about the individual web pages or products that you view, what websites or search terms referred you to the Sites, and information about how you interact with the Sites. We refer to this automatically-collected information as “Device Information.”

We collect Device Information using the following technologies:

Additionally, when you make a purchase or attempt to make a purchase through the Sites, we collect certain information from you, including your name, billing address, shipping address, payment information (including credit card numbers, expiration date), email address, and phone number. At your discretion, we may also be collecting your birthdate and title information. We refer to this information as “Order Information.”

When we talk about “Personal Information” in this Privacy Policy, we are talking both about Device Information and Order Information.


We use the Order Information that we collect generally to fulfill any orders placed through the Sites (including processing your payment information, arranging for shipping, and providing you with invoices and/or order confirmations). Additionally, we use this Order Information to:

We use the Device Information that we collect to help us screen for potential risk and fraud (in particular, your IP address), and more generally to improve and optimize our Sites (for example, by generating analytics about how our customers browse and interact with the Sites, and to assess the success of our marketing and advertising campaigns). We may also use the Device Information for remarketing and retargeting purposes to provide you with targeted advertisements and offers we believe may be of interest to you.


We share your Personal Information with third parties to help us use your Personal Information, as described above. For example, we use an outside shipping company to ship orders, and a credit card processing company to bill users for purchases. We also use Google Analytics to help us understand how our customers use the Sites. You can read more about how Google uses your Personal Information here: https://policies.google.com/privacy. You can also opt-out of Google Analytics here: https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout.

Finally, we may also share your Personal Information to comply with applicable laws and regulations, to respond to a subpoena, search warrant or other lawful request for information we receive, or to otherwise protect our rights.


As described above, we use your Personal Information to provide you with targeted advertisements or marketing communications we believe may be of interest to you.

You can opt out of targeted advertising by:

Additionally, you can also visit NAI’s opt-out page http://optout.networkadvertising.org.


Please note that we do not alter our Sites’ data collection and use practices when we see a Do Not Track signal from your browser.


The Sites contain links to other websites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the content or privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of any other site that collects personally identifiable information.


If you are a European resident, you have the right to access personal information we hold about you and to ask that your personal information be corrected, updated, or deleted. If you would like to exercise this right, please contact us through the contact information below.

Additionally, if you are a European resident, we note that we are processing your information in order to fulfill contracts we might have with you (for example if you make an order through the Sites), or otherwise to pursue our legitimate business interests listed above. Additionally, please note that your information will be transferred outside of Europe, including to Canada and the United States.


From time-to-time, the Sites may request information via surveys, contests, or offers. Participation in these surveys, contests, and offers is completely voluntary and you may choose whether or not to participate and therefore disclose this information. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and shipping address), and demographic information (such as postal code, age level, gender). Contact information will be used to notify the winners, award prizes, or redeem offers. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the use and satisfaction of the Sites and the products offered on the Sites.


When you place an order through the Sites, we will maintain your Order Information for our records unless and until you ask us to delete this information.


We may update this privacy policy from time to time in order to reflect, for example, changes to our practices or for other operational, legal or regulatory reasons. This policy was last updated on October 27th, 2019.


For more information about our privacy practices, if you have questions, or if you would like to make a complaint, please contact us by e-mail at info@nikkeicanada.com or by mail using the address provided below:

Nikkei (Canada) Marketing Limited Unit 170 - 12868 Clarke Place, Richmond, BC, V6V 2H1, Canada