Dr. Erika Schwartz, M.D., is a leading national expert in wellness, disease prevention, and bioidentical hormone therapies. Dr. Schwartz has written four best-selling books, testified before Congress, hosted her own PBS special on bioidentical hormones, and is a frequent guest on network TV shows.

Dr. Erika Schwartz, M.D

Best Way to Prevent Osteoporosis

Thursday, 03 Jul 2014 01:09 PM

By Erika Schwartz, M.D.

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Q: What is the best way to prevent osteoporosis? I watched my mother suffer horribly from it and I’d like to do everything I can to keep my bones healthy.
— Michele J., Lancaster, Calif.
 
A: Exercise. Work out with weights at least three times a week, and heavier weights are better. Cardio exercises are important, too, but weights and flexibility are crucial.
 
Also, consider taking hormones. Bioidentical estradiol/testosterone is important for maintaining high bone density. Do you know any 20-something with osteoporosis? They all have lots of estrogen and progesterone.
 
In addition, supplements like vitamin D, low doses of calcium citrate malate, magnesium, and vitamin K2 will help your bones stay strong. There is no need to repeat your mom’s history.
 
 
Q: I have a family history of multiple sclerosis. Is there any way to prevent MS?
— Chris M., Wayne, Ind.
 
A: Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune inflammatory disease rarely of genetic or infection origin. Just because someone in your family had the disease does not mean you are going to get it.
 
However, you can start protecting yourself today from multiple sclerosis and other diseases by eating a clean diet. Eliminate dairy products, starches, alcohol, caffeine, processed foods, and artificial sweeteners. Focus on eating organic, pure foods with only one ingredient.
 
Drink lots of water. Exercise on a regular basis. Three to five times a week, divide your exercise program between aerobic, weight-bearing, and stretching exercises. The less sedentary your life is the better off you’ll be.
 
Make sure you get at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night. If you can’t, make up the lost sleep by sleeping 10 hours a night on the weekends. If you are under stress, make sure you engage in breathing exercises, yoga, and other forms of relaxation. You also can boost your immune system by washing your hands at least 10 times a day and frequently airing out your home and work area.
 
Finally, take supplements that support your immune system: lactoferrin, colostrum, vitamins C and B complex, coenzyme Q10, and L-carnitine.
 
 
Q: My husband has started to become more forgetful. Usually it’s not anything serious. But recently he couldn’t remember where he parked the car at the grocery store. He’s 72. Is there any way to tell if this is the beginning of Alzheimers?
— Lynn M., West Bend, Wis.
 
A: An MRI may show if your husband has Alzheimer’s plaques on his brain, but you can start helping him improve his condition immediately. Encourage him to exercise daily, to be involved in your community, and to spend time with young people as much as possible. It’s important that he stays active and does brain stimulating exercises.
 
A healthy diet also is crucial. I advise avoiding caffeine, alcohol, fried foods, and starches. Instead of using sugar substitutes in his drinks, he would be wise to use brown sugar or honey.
Adding brain-preserving supplements to his diet also makes sense. I recommend omega-3 fish oil (3,000 mg/day), Neuroptimizers, vitamin C (2,000 mg/day), and vitamin B complex (100 mg/day).
 
Also, sleeping eight hours a night goes a long way toward good health. Make sure your room is conducive to good sleep. Keep the television, cellphone, and other electronics out.

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