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The three body system approach to Osteoporosis


The hormones estrogen, progesterone and cortisol are involved in maintaining normal bone density.  They are all corticosteroids. All corticosteroid hormones including cortisol increase the rate of bone loss which explains why in medicine they are used sparingly and for short periods of time. Long term steroid therapy increases the risk of advancing osteoporosis. If your body is overproducing cortisol it can inhibit bone growth leading to osteopenia and osteoporosis. In functional medicine we look at cortisol and DHEA levels to help assess if hormone imbalance could be involved in osteoporosis.


Because of digestive disfunction many people suffer from a lack of hydrochloric acid. Calcium is the primary building material of bone. When people have digestive disturbances they may have a lack of acidity in the stomach that impedes the absorption of calcium contributing to the progression of osteoporosis.

Examples of digestive dysfunction would include hydrochloric acid deficiencies from B vitamin and zinc deficiencies as well as viral, parasitic and bacterial infections of the stomach which inhibit hydrochloric acid production.

Your immune system is designed to both protect us from invading organisms and repair worn out cells. If your immune system is focused on fighting infections or maintaining mucosal barrier function, it is less able to carry out its other basic functions, including repair of bone. Digestive system tests help Dr. Richart determine if gut pathogens are impeding your ability to properly repair and maintain bones.


Heavy metal toxicities can lead to alterations of bone strength. Calcium and magnesium may attempt to pull out the heavy metals weakening the bone. Lead is an example of a heavy metal that is actually stored in bone tissue. The results from the organic acid test helps Dr. Richart assess your body's ability to remove toxins and helps him determine nutrient deficiencies that may contribute to osteoporosis.