We all hope it will never happen. But if it does, you might be surprised to discover that when it comes to fracture healing, the “don’ts” may be just as important as the “do’s”.

I’m talking about the recent discovery that pain killers inhibit the body’s ability to heal fractures. This includes COX-2 inhibitor drugs such as Celecoxib (generic for Celebrex) and other commonly used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Aleve, Motrin and aspirin.

Let’s face it, a broken bone hurts a whole lot, so it is not surprising that it has become almost an instinct to reach out for the drugs. But the consequences of this can mean a much longer recovery period.

How do These Drugs Work?

NSAIDs are mostly COX-1 and slightly COX-2 inhibitors. COX stands for cyclooxygenase, an enzyme that produces prostaglandins. These are fatty-acid derivatives located all over the body that react to immune and inflammatory conditions. COX-1 also protect the stomach by producing mucus and increasing the production of sodium bicarbonate, maintain blood flow and kidney function, and process sensations.

So COX-2 inhibitors were developed as a more targeted prescription drug that would spare the stomach lining from damage. In fact, drugs like Celebrex (celecoxib) and the infamous Vioxx and Bextra entered the market as a ‘safer’ NSAID replacement, but with disastrous results. You might recall that Vioxx was voluntarily withdrawn from the market in September 2004 by Merck, its manufacturer. Less than one year later, Bextra was black-listed as well.

The Ins and Outs of Fracture Healing

There are four phases in fracture healing. Immediately after a bone breaks, the body starts the healing process. Next, there is tremendous inflammation followed by a regenerative phase characterized by new bone growth. The last phase involves remodeling, in which mature bone is replaced by newly formed bone.

The early inflammation serves a very important purpose, since the chemical signals released during this phase are critical in sustaining the healing process. So it makes sense that anti-inflammatory drugs alter the messaging system and wreak havoc in the fracture healing process.

Science Proves Yet Again That Nature Knows Best

A study conducted on laboratory rats and published in the Journal of Joint and Bone Surgery used COX-2 inhibitors to gage the dosage and subsequent healing delay of thigh bone fractures.1 Interestingly, fracture healing inhibition was evident regardless of the COX-2 dose. But the most noticeable healing delay happened with treatment lasting longer than 15 days.

By extrapolating, the researchers concluded that the same can be said about “regular” NSAIDs and recommend avoiding NSAIDs after a fracture.

This is one more proof that Nature knows best. Because even though pain can be very unpleasant, rushing to intervene and stop the inflammation following injury disrupts the inflammatory response. There is a good reason for all that swelling, heat, and redness; it is a sign of increased blood flow to the area. And increased blood flow means the body can clear debris away from the site of injury and begin with the healing process.2

Most Popular NSAIDs

Below are the over-the-counter and prescription NSAIDs most commonly used:

  • Aspirin (Bayer, Bufferin)
  • Salsalate (Amigesic)
  • Diflunisal (Dolobid)
  • Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil)
  • Ketoprofen (Orudis)
  • Nabumetone (Relafen)
  • Piroxicam (Feldene)
  • Naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn)
  • Diclofenac (Voltaren)
  • Indomethacin (Indocin)
  • Sulindac (Clinoril)
  • Tolmetin (Tolectin)
  • Etodolac (Lodine)
  • Ketorolac (Toradol)
  • Oxaprozin (Daypro)
  • Celecoxib (Celebrex)

Try This Colorful Cure

So what to do for pain, you might rightly ask? There are many ways to naturally deal with it. Here’s one that works and is chock-full of nutrients: beets. Studies have shown that beets inhibit COX-1 and COX-2, thanks to their rich content of betanin, isobetanin, and vulgaxanthin, the specific phytonutrients responsible for their anti-inflammatory action.3

Beets have many other health benefits, so if you haven’t yet, make sure you read my blog post titled ‘The Purple Food That Builds Your Bones’.

Of course I hope you will never need to apply this information, but as I’ve said before, ignorance is not bliss… because it can hurt you.

To your natural health knowledge!

References

1 Simon AM, O’Connor JP. “Dose and time-dependent effects of cyclooxygenase-2 inhibition on fracture-healing.” J Bone Joint Surg (Am) 2007;89:500-11.
2 Almekinders LC. Anti-inflammatory treatment of muscular injuries in sports. Sports Med 1993;15:139-145.
3 Reddy, MK, et al. “Relative inhibition of lipid peroxidation, cyclooxygenase enzymes, and human tumor cell proliferation by natural food colors.” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 16;53(23):9268-73.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  1. Ang

    Oh yes, with 22 years of Rheumatoid & currently also suffering from a massive ankle operation, (in winter)….I intend to race out to buy & eat beets all day while I build a model ship! Seriously, I think some people on these forums are fruitcakes!

  2. Virginia Duncan

    I just spoke with my Neurosurgeon about a possible refill of pain medication after breaking my back in January. I have had the injections, with no relief, and a kyphoplasty a month ago, also with no relief. They approved the prescription; however I will have to drive 45 minutes away to pick it up. I said that I would probably just take Ibuprofen over the weekend (I have an appointment for another MRI with them on Monday afternoon); and she said, “Oh no! Don’t take Ibuprofen! It doesn’t allow the bones to heal”. That would have been a good thing to know at the time I broke my back, don’t you think?

  3. Debra Peaden

    i have slow healing heel bone from surgery. Ive been taking Diclofenac 50mg twice a day for hip/back pain. Stopping now surgery was March 9 Is it too late to help healing by not taking? Waiting on insurance to approve a bone stimulator.

  4. Wife of #

    Why eat beets?? This whole article is about how cox inhibitors are bad and then finished by recommending veggies that do exactly that!!

    Seriously, either you have a point about cox inhibition being bad or you don’t. The source of the inhibitor makes no difference.

    • Barb

      Exactly what I was thinking.

      • Susan Will

        Me, too. Avoid COX inhibitors except in beets? Makes no sense. Also have to second the person laughing at only relying on eating beets for pain after a broken bone. Sure, let me get right on that as my collar bone heals.

  5. Kim

    Beets? Can’t. Stop. Laughing. Last year I fell and broke my tibia in two places and my fibula in one. All compound fractures. I had two surgeries. And you’re advising BEETS for pain. I was on Percocet for two and 1/2 weeks and it barely touched the pain. You are crazy.

    • On Crutches

      I seriously am sitting here in a wheel chair with a double fracture -inside ankle/fibula lamenting the task of taking more Advil. My stomach is harboring resentments and I’m CRAVING Organic Whole Milk.

  6. Kate Hallberg

    Putting up with that pain doesn’t help you and if it’s intense enough, you may alter your brain for the rest of your life causing a state called hyperalgesia. NIH grant recipients, pharmacologists, MD/PhDs aren’t idiots, nor is science evil. Learn at least a little about science- it’s not a set of facts but a clear eyed, data based way of examining what can be observed. Go ahead and eat the beets but don’t be a martyr.

    • dee jay

      i can tell you for a fact many MDs ARE idiots, and todays science, unless pure science by pure scientists is co opted and driven for and by MONEY; Trust at your own lifes risk. That said, theres a balance some MDs are not idiots but i dont know if i can say that about research, i mean really are there any purist left in any field?

      • john

        This is the truth. Its all about money Insurance companies / Hospitals / Pharmaceuticals / Doctors only care about 1 thing. Money!

  7. Pauline

    Apparently I had fractured my hand 6 – 12 months ago unknown to me. But a couple of weeks I broke 2 small bones off that fracture. It has been so painful. The GP has put me on naproxen (naprosyn). But I don’t see how this works for broken bones?

  8. Chaz

    My thoughts exactly. I appreciate a drug free alternative to poisonous liver and kidney killers…. BUT, they recommend taking a COX inhibitor after telling you not to take a COX inhibitor… Sounds legit…

  9. Megan

    Is Tylenol or Aleve okay? I have a tib fib fracture and I have been in a cast for about 4 weeks now. I also have been give Lortab for pain.

    • amanda

      Yes, it is ok for you to take pain relievers. If you choose to buy them or get them from friends after your RX is done (prescription) then you might have a problem. Try to take less and less of the lortab (same as hydrocodone, and vicodin) because even a short time can cause you some symptoms, like pain in other areas of your body making you want to take the meds, or a very common one- restless leg syndrome at night when you dont take the med. Your legs and arms may feel like they have to move, and it makes for sleepless nights. Taper back your pills until you are taking as little as 1/8 before bed, just cut/bite them. you might still have a couple of restless nights but it will pass. You wont have problems by taking pain meds for broken bones, in the short term. This article is actually crap. I was reading the comments bc I was curious. I am in PA program right now and have been well-educated my entire life by a nurse. I also take an opiate (like Lortab), percocet, a few x a month for a very bad hip that has been rebuilt once already. I take as little as possible and skip weeks regularly to avoid having any addiction problems

  10. Graeme

    Am recovering from a broken foot(heal). I had realistic expectations of the recovery ahead and the potential pain involved as I had experienced a multiple ankle fractures 8 years previously. As well as researched lifestyle and dietary modifications to enhance recovery I discovered a ‘life saver’ when it came to pain management. This may seem unrelated in some aspects but it works incredibly well for me. I am building a very intricate model pirate ship. Due to its difficulty and the concentration involved, my focus, in addition to my prescribed painkillers reduces the discomfort radically. I feel a bit nerdy sometimes but it is also quite satisfying to build something other than bone so bring it on!

    • Kate Hallberg

      I once got rid of an impending migraine by putting together something that required concentration but not such intense concentration I couldn’t do it.

  11. vexvxvex

    This doesn’t make much sense, does it? Don’t take NSAIDs because they inhebit COX1 and COX2 which delay recovery. Instead take beets , they are good anti inflammatory drugs cause they … inhibit COX1 and COX2.

    If beets work in the same way as NSAIDs they will have the same side effects.

  12. vdealban

    i wish to learn more from you. hanks and God bless!

  13. anita

    Ms. Goldschmidt, There are many things MA can stand for. What do these initials convey in your case?

  14. moncita

    I had Total Right Knee replacement ,also I have pagets in my right knee as well .The pain is killing me…what pain meds are good as well as natural juicing remedies

  15. Ivanhoe

    So………. Don’t take NSAIDS that block Cox1 & Cox2 production, necessary for prostaglandin production in inflammatory response, necessary for healing.

    BUT….. Consume beets instead, which inhibit Cox1 & Cox2 production, necessary for prostaglandin production……..?

    Seriously? Ok, i get natural-organic alternatives, but this argument is circular!

    • Shary

      Yep. Probably best not to take or do anything that will interfere with the healing process. But sometimes that’s easier said than done.

    • Burritosaw

      So I’m not the only one that saw that!

      • Deborah Fisher

        I thought just the same as you!!! I have a stress fracture and have been taking Ibruprofen and Paracetamol and Codeine for 11 weeks now. I couldn’t have walked without it, as it was only diagnosed this week!!!!!!! I want to stop but Beets is not the answer!

  16. Brion

    LOL. After breaking one side of my bodies ribs….I can tell you that pain remediation is absolutely necessary. Leave it to your attending physician to decide, not trite articles with absolutely no science or reference to back anything up.

    • Karen

      Im on this zite because leaving it to the doctor willeave me without the pain meds in two days. Im scared. I need something to go from 5mg of norco every 6 hours to nothing. Only one week post op for a broken distal radius.
      Feeling very let down by doc. No help whatsoever with a plan for pain management and weaning off that. Ibuprophen made me sick. I have exactly 12 5mg pills left and 5 weeks of healing time.

  17. Paul

    Hi
    I broke my scapula 8 weeks ago now I am a professional athlete and some of the supliments I take contain a small amount of asprin how log would you wait until you think it would be ok to use these supliments again?

    Paul

  18. Pamela

    I’m on Celebrex for inflammatory osteoarthritis caused by psoriasis. Psoriasis not bad except on scalp where I have to use special shampoos, right now using a coal tar as main ingredient. What could I use instead of these 2 things? My arthritis has caused enough destruction in last 6 months I need surgery on both thumbs & rt great toe.

    • Pamela

      I want to add to the above, I’m 50, disabled, have fibromyalgia,diagnosed in 93, have degenerative disc disease , perforated stomach in 2007 from being on indocine & having h-pyloric bacteria, deal with sluggish bowels from adhesions from perontinitis. I’m on several medications, take omega 3s, magnesium , dhea,pychnogenol, multivitamins, b12. Also have numerous allergies. I avoid refined foods, eat as much organic as I can afford,& avoid GMOs, but have a very addictive sweet tooth so avoid sugar as much as possible because I can’t get enough if I start . Any help appreciated.

      • Henrietta

        Try incoperating cloves into your diet. It’s good for h-pylori and peritonitis as well. My uncle had ulcer due to h-pylori. He was paralyzed for two years because it affected his spine, fortunately I met an ayurvedic doctor who recommended cloves which worked wonders. Add about two tablespoons to water. Just as it’s about to boil, remove from heat and cover for ten minutes. After that pour the liquid and drink as much as you can throughout the day. Best taken before meals. It will work wonders.

  19. Carol Muscato

    I have fractured 3 vertebraes over 2 years ago I was put on Forteo which I took for 22 months and could not take the last 2 months. There is no change in my bone destiny I am still a very high risk for fractures. I also have COPD and am on oxygen my Doctors now want to put me on Prolia and the side effects are very scary . I really, really need your help could u please advise me as to what i should do. I don,t have your book but read every thing u email. Carol (I would call u if u wanted me to)

    • infoprodigy

      Try the Gerson therapy diet to improve general health and improve bone density. research has shown that the best thing someone can do to maintain bone integrity is eat lots of vegetables n leafy greens in thier natural, whole food, unprocessed form (but still wash them well). Meats and processed foods cause an acidic reaction in the body that forces the body to take calcium from the bones to maintain body tissue ph. go to gerson.org to learn more and start juicing with green vegetables and apple/carrot juice. Mrs gerson was well into her 80s without bone weakening or osteoporosis. also watch “the Gerson Miracle” movie on netflix…it will definitely surprise you..your COPD probably will improve too. good luck 🙂

    • Jason Lenos

      Try eating weed cookies. I have read on a medical marijuana site that on of the benifits of treatment is increased bone growth, less pain and the list goes on and on. Do your research and you will surprised.

  20. jj

    Vivian, D

    I started the program about 8 months ago although it took a while to incorporate all of your suggestions. I took a bone density test and no change yet. How long do most people stay on the program before they see results?
    I want to continue but Dr doesn’t believe it works.

    Thanks for any feedback.

  21. jj

    How long before results on the density test? I started the program after an unrelated surgery and it has been
    about 8 months. So far, no change in the test results. Should I stay with it and for how long?

  22. RICHARD CANARY

    Hi Vivian, I like your writing style and the ideas you convey. I’m 71 and I hear lots of stories about oldsters who fall and break bones, and I appreciate any info that can help me and friends to enjoy life more and avoid accidents.
    I’ve even heard that lots of times, a person’s hip bone, for example, breaks first, and that the break causes the fall, instead of the other way around. Is that true?

    I’m going to use the weights you informed me about, starting today if possible, but definitely soon. But, I have a another question, and it seems that you are the best one to answer it. Here goes: when I use an exercise program, such as Simplicize, do the bone-building processes occur throughout the skeleton or more in the area being stressed than in the areas of the skeleton further away? In other words, if I work my arms, does it cause bone-building equally in my ankles?

    The answers to those questions would be mighty helpful for people who are bed-ridden, but who can use their arms or their legs, but not both.

    Thanks for opportunity to leave a note,

    Richard

    • Candy

      Richard,
      Bones (and skin) rebuild in the direction of the greatest stressor. So when you lift weights with your arms, you are stressing the arm bones through the muscle use and causing them to rebuild and stay strong. In this respect, however, lifting weights with the arms would not do anything directly to build bone in other areas of the body.

  23. ESTELLE

    HI EVERYBODY, RECENTLY I BOUGHT A BOOK ONE OF OUR MEMBERS HERE RECOMMENDED, CALLED “THE WHOLE-BODY APPROACH TO OSTEOPOROSIS” BY R. KEITH MC CORMICK, DC. I TURNED TO A PAGE SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE, AT RANDOM, AND FOUND AN EXCELLENT CHAPTER ON DIGESTIVE PROBLEMS, AND HOW TOO LITTLE STOMACH ACID IMPEDES TO VARYING DEGREES, DIGESTION OF CALCIUM, IN ADDITION TO IMPEDING DIGESTION OF PROTEIN, B12, FOLIC ACID IRON AND MAYBE MORE….CAUSING SEVERAL SERIOUS CONDITIONS, INCLUDING BONE THINNING..POSSIBLY BROKEN BONES IF IT GOES ON TOO LONG, AND OTHER PROBLEMS RELATED TO THE OTHER DIGESTIVE INADEQUACIES DUE TO TOO LOW STOMACH ACID. THIS IS REALLY IMPORTANT FOR MOST OF US OVER ABOUT 40, AND ESPECIALLY FOR PEOPLE TAKING ANTACIDS OR DRUGS TO REDUCE STOMACH ACID, FOR GERD OR ACID REFLUX. ALSO, ANYONE MIGHT HAVE TOO LOW STOMACH ACID WITHOUT OBVIOUS SYMPTOMS, AND BE AT RISK FOR OSTEOPOROSIS,OR HAVE OSTEOPOROSIS AND NOT KNOW WHY. IT COULD BE ONE OF SEVERAL CAUSES. EVEN IF ONE DOESNT HAVE GERD OR OTHER DIGESTIVE PROBLEMS, YOU MAY HAVE TOO LOW STOMACH ACID.
    LISTEN TO THIS: MY CONVENTIONAL DIGESTIVE SPECIALIST(GASTRO-ENTEROLOGIST) WANTED ME TO TAKE PRILOSEC, TO REDUCE STOMACH ACID. I KNEW FROM PAST READING THAT LOW STOMACH ACID IMPEDES DIGESTION OF CALCIUM AND WHEN I ASKED HER “WHAT ABOUT CAUSING OSTEOPOROSIS” SHE SAID, “WELL ITS EITHER THAT OR ESOPHAGEAL CANCER.” WHAT A CHOICE?!! I KNEW IMMEDIATELY, THIS MUST BE WRONG AND DECLINED TO TAKE THE DRUG. ON FURTHER RESEARCH BY READING DR JONATHAN WRIGHT’S NEWSLETTER ARCHIVES ON THE INTERNET, (AND AVAILABLE FOR A FEE ON PAPER NEWSLETTERS,) AND IN HIS BOOK, (SEE BELOW) HE SAYS 90% OF HIS PATIENTS AT THE TACOMA CLINIC, WHO HAVE GERD OR ACID REFLUX, HAVE TOO LITTLE STOMACH ACID.(NOT TOO MUCH, AS MOST CONVENTIONAL DOCTORS ASSUME WITHOUT TESTING.) UNLIKE CONVENTIONAL DOCTORS, DR WRIGHT TESTS THEIR STOMACH pH AND FINDS MOST HAVE LOW ACID. BY TAKING BETAIN HCL + PEPSIN OR ANOTHER SPECIFIC ACID + PEPSIN SUPPLEMENT, TO INCREASE, RATHER THAN DECREASE STOMACH ACID, THEIR GERD IS CURED OR AT LEAST THE BURNING STOPS, PRESUMABLY BECAUSE IT DIGESTS THE STOMACH FOOD FASTER AND MORE COMPLETELY, SO IT DOESNT SIT THERE LONG ENOUGH TO REFLUX BACK UP TO THE ESOPHAGUS.AND CALCIUM IS BETTER DIGESTED ALSO. THIS IS MY UNDERSTANDING. GERD IS CAUSED PARTLY BY THIS LOWER THAN NORMAL ACIDIC FOOD SITTING THERE TOO LONG AND PARTLY BY THE LOWER ESOPHAGEAL VALVE BECOMING TOO LOOSE AND NOT CLOSING PROPERLY TO ALLOW STOMACH ACIDIC CONTENTS TO FLOW BACK UP THE ESOPHAGUS. ESOPHAGUS WALLS ARENT RESILIENT ENOUGH TO PROTECT IT FROM STOMACH ACID.EVEN THE LOWER THAN NORMAL STOMACH ACID. ITS STILL ACID. VIVIAN, DOES THIS SOUND RIGHT? THIS ACID CANN ERODE (OR CORRODE?)THE ESOPHAGUS WALL OVER A LONG TIME, AND EVENTUALLY CAUSE BARRETTES DISEASE, WHICH, IF NOT FIXED SOON ENOUGH, CAN CAUSE ESOPHAGEAL CANCER, EVENTUALLY. NOT SURE OF THE TIME LINES. SO ITS IMPORTANT TO GET ALTERNATIVE DOCTOR’S OR NUTRITIONIST’S HELP OR GET YOUR STOMACH pH TESTED IF YOU HAVE GERD, AND SUPPLEMENT WITH BETAINE HCL + PEPSIN IN HEALTH STORES OR BY CHEAPER MAIL ORDER, OR THE OTHER ACID + PEPSIN DR WRIGHT MENTIONS IN HIS NEWSLETTER ARCHIVES AND BOOK. THIS WILL HELP BONE STRENGTH AND PREVENT ESOPHAGEAL CANCER IN GERD PATIENTS. MY TAKE. WHAT DOES VIVIAN THINK?
    SO ALTERNATIVE OR INTEGRATIVE DOCTORS AND NUTRITIONISTS, AND SOME CHIROPRACTORS SAY MOST PEOPLE NEED TO INCREASE STOMACH ACID WHEN THEY HAVE GERD, BUT TO TEST STOMACH pH FIRST TO MAKE SURE. ALSO ENOUGH HYDROCHLORIC ACID IN THE STOMACH HELPS THE STOMACH WALL TO SECRETE MORE ENZYMES NEEDED (PEPSIN ETC) TO DIGEST CALCIUM, PROTEIN, B12, FOLIC ACID AND IRON. THE BOOK I MENTIONED ABOVE BY MC CORMICK, ALSO WRITES A SIMILAR STORY ABOUT THE NEED FOR MOST PEOPLE WITH GERD TO INCREASE STOMACH ACID. BOTH AUTHORS SAY IT’S BEST TO GET YOUR STOMACH ACID MEASURED, OR TESTED, BY A DOCTOR AND TO ADD MORE ACID IF YOU ARE LOW. PRESUMABLY AND HOPEFULLY THERE MUST BE A NORMAL RANGE FOR STOMACH ACID OR pH. THESE ALTERNATIVE HEALERS ADVISE MORE ACID FOR MOST PEOPLE, AND THEY TEST STOMACH ACID, BUT MOST CONVENTIONAL DOCTORS DONT TEST STOMACH pH AND JUST PRESUME THAT ALL GERD PATIENTS HAVE TOO MUCH STOMACH ACID AND PRESCRIBE DRUGS TO REDUCE IT, WHICH CAUSES ALL THE PROBLEMS TO GET WORSE, INCLUDING BONE THINNING, NOT ENOUGH PROTEIN TO REPAIR TISSUE, AND MORE. ALSO, PEOPLE WHO TAKE TUMS, ROLAIDS, BAKING SODA OR OTHER ANTACIDS OR DRUGS THAT REDUCE ACIDS, EVEN WHEN PRESCRIBED BY CONVENTIONAL DOCTORS,FOR GERD, ARE IN THE SAME DANGERS. CONVENTIONAL MEDICINE CAN OFTEN BE HAZARDOUS TO OUR HEALTH. HERE’S ONE MORE EXAMPLE ABOVE. YOU GO TO A DOCTOR TO GET HEALED AND YOU GET DRUGS THAT HARM YOU….TOO OFTEN….WITH SOME EXCEPTIONS. ARE THESE DRUGS MEDICINE OR POISIN??? SO WE NEED TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ALTERNATIVE, NATRURAL HEALING AND TAKE DRUGS ONLY IF NOTHING NATURAL HELPS, AS I DID WITH THYROID REPLACEMENT DRUGS, FOR HYPOTHYROIDISM, YEARS AGO. A THYROID REPLACEMENT DRUG WAS THE ONLY THING THAT HELPED AFTER IODINE AND OTHER NATURAL APPROACHES DIDNT WORK AND I KEPT GETTING WORSE. IN THIS CASE A DRUG WORKED WHEN NATURAL APPROACHES DID NOT. REPLACING LOW THYROID HORMONE WAS NEEDED. SOMETIMES IODINE DOES HELP HYPOTHYROIDISM, UNLESS ITS HASHIMOTOS THYROIDITIS. SPEAKING OF WHICH…I READ THAT TOO MUCH POTASSIUM IODIDE, LIKE THAT FOUND IN SEA WEED, CAN CAUSE HASHOMOTOS THYROIDITIS, AN AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE THAT ATTACKS THE THYROID GLAND OVER TIME. IOSOL IS THE SAFER FORM OF IODINE, I’M TOLD BY A NUTRITION COUNSELLOR. I NEED TO VERIFY THIS.
    I’D LIKE TO GET RESPONSES FROM VIVIAN AND OTHERS….ABOUT DIGESTION, GERD, CALCIUM AND LOW OR HIGH STOMACH ACID AND ITS CONSEQUENCES FOR BONE HEALTH… OR ANYONE’S EXPERIENCES PERTAINING TO THESE. SHARING MAKES US STRONGER, AND HEALTHIER…IF WE SHARE ACCURATE INFORMATION.
    SO THANK YOU FOR RECOMMENDING THAT BOOK ON WHOLE-BODY APPROACH TO OSTEOPOROSIS. I FORGET WHO RECOMMENDED IT. ITS VERY GOOD. ALSO, ABOUT GERD, AS IT PERTAINS TO DIGESTION OF CALCIUM, I GOT ANOTHER BOOK CALLED “WHY STOMACH ACID IS GOOD FOR YOU…NATURAL RELIEF FROM HEARTBURN, INDIGESTION, REFLUX AND GERD” BY DR JONATHAN WRIGHT(COMPLEMENTARY MD)……BOTH THESE BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE FROM ECHO POINT BOOKS…SALES@GREENLIVINGBOOKS.NET PHONE 802-257-6900 IN VERMONT. BOTH EXCELLENT BOOKS.
    VIVIAN, I READ LONG AGO THAT APPLE CIDER VINEGAR TAKEN BEFORE MEALS HELPS TO INCREASE STOMACH ACID, AND THUS HELPS PREVENT OSTEOPOROSIS DUE TO POOR CALCIUM ABSORPTION. IS APPLE CIDER VINEGAR, OR TABLETS OF IT,+ MULTIPLE ENZYMES INCLUDING PROTEASES (NOT SPECIFICALLY PEPSIN WHICH WORKS ONLY IN THE STOMACH) AS GOOD AS BETAIN HCL + PEPSIN OR THE OTHER ACID + PEPSIN? IE DO THE OTHER PROTEASES OR BROMELAIN ALSO WORK IN THE STOMACH TO DIGEST PROTEIN? OR DO THEY WORK ONLY LOWER DOWN?? I REMEMBER THAT PEPSIN CHANGES PROTEINS INTO PEPTONES. PRESUMABLY THE PROTEASES FURTHER DOWN THE GI TRACT, WORK ON THE PEPTONES. MAYBE PEPSIN IS NEEDED TO FIRST MAKE PEPTONES, WHICH FURTHER DOWN GET BROKEN DOWN TO AMINO ACIDS. WHAT WOULD HAPPEN WITHOUT PEPSIN?? AM I RIGHT?? AND IS IT NECESSARY TO TAKE PEPSIN RATHER THAN OTHER PROTEASES??..IE. ARE PEPTONES NECESSARY IF ONE TAKES OTHER PROTEASES?. …PROTEIN DIGESTION ALSO BEING NEEDED FOR BONE STRENGTH…AMONG OTHER THINGS.
    TO FINISH, I’D LIKE TO SHARE A SHORT POEM I WROTE A LONG TIME AGO, TITLED
    ENOUGH.
    TOO LITTLE IS NOT ENOUGH
    TOO MUCH IS NOT ENOUGH
    ONLY ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!

    SO DONT TAKE TOO LITTLE
    DONT TAKE TOO MUCH
    JUST TAKE ENOUGH!!

    • Lana Smiley

      Want to feel better? Go enjoy a big bacon cheeseburger in the company of a good friend – and don’t neglect to say grace…😊

  24. Harold

    Hi. Vivian. my doctor tells me i have got spinal canal stenosis, and is now suggesting i start using patches, Norspan Transdermal(Buprenorphine)
    any suggestions. i am a victim of severe arthritis and age 87. Harold.
    Thanks for a great program, always enjoy your information.

  25. Linda

    I’ve been using the program for just a week now and already feel better. I had already begun a new meal plan for pre-diabeties to lower my sugar, so this fits in nicely. I just adjusted my alkalizing foods vs acidifying foods. I was also doing 30 min. weight bearing exercise 30 min./day 5-7 days/wk. I added your 3 density training exercises to my regimen, one exercise, three times a week. I have the full support of my doctor when I wanted to stop taking Fosamax (took only a year), change my diet, and add to my supplements. The only one I can’t find in single form is Silicon. It comes as Silica, which has other minerals that I’m already taking. I’d rather just find a 10mg dose of strictly Silicon. My multi gives me 2mg. Any suggestions?
    I also want to order this for my sister but I need to know how it’s delivered. She has an address for pkgs. delivered UPS/Fedex and a different address for letters. I don’t remember how mine was delivered.

    Thank you….

  26. hana blume

    So is eating a lot of beet borsch (the “t” isn’t missing; it’s a mistaken add-on, like “cold” slaw) helpful for pain?

  27. Stuart

    You state COX1 and 2 inhibitors interfere with the healing process when they come from a pill and then go on and give a natural source of these inhibitors. This is not logical to me as you don’t want anything interfering with the healing process, natural or not.

    • Mrs. B

      I just thought the same thing! Does NOT make sense!!!

  28. Noma

    Have you read any of the studies done on Osteocare? I have been on it for 4 years now and the bone density test showed positive improvement. No side effects either.

  29. LynnCS

    Vivian. I just re read your other blog about beets. Good to hear that the benefits are increased by steaming, if I read it right. I learned also that the leaves contain oxalates. Does steaming reduce the oxalates in the greens? How about other greens like spinach. You may have addressed this before, but I can’t find it. Thanks, Lynn

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Lynn – While laboratory studies have shown that oxalates may interfere with calcium absorption (it doesn’t actually leech calcium from the bones), the reduction is relatively small and should not prevent you from eating beets, spinach, or other oxalate-containing foods, many of which contain valuable nutrients.

  30. rosemary walkowski

    Do you know if the whole body vibration machine with 2 motors will help osteoporosis? The chiropracter says yes, my internist says no.
    Rosemary W

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Rosemary – The vibrating plates are still shrouded with controversy. For example, people with spinal injuries, such as slipped discs or pinched nerves may increase damage by using the machine. I have not researched these machines in great detail because there are so many other ways to increase density without the added expense of this equipment.

      • Jane

        I bought one of those vibrating machines specifically designed to help with osteoporosis a few years ago (£1800!) hoping it would help my bones, but despite religeously using it for the required 20 minutes a day, after 2 years my bones were even less dense! I’ve stopped using it now.

  31. LynnCS

    Vivian. You are a real angel. You are my saving grace along with all the other people on the internet that have led me down this road to a healthy rest of my life. I have so much hope now that I have found this healthy way of life. And it is soooo good. I have more variety than ever. Funny how we are so brain washed and habituated in old ideas. Thank you for perservering!! Much love, Lynn

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Thanks Lynn! You’re very sweet. 🙂 I’m glad you’re enjoying your journey toward bone health.

  32. Carol

    This is good information to know. I’m glad beets help lower pain. In addition, I have read that sunflower oil can cause inflammation wshich in my case can lead to pain. Is that true?

    I live with chronic pain and have done everything I can to deal with it without taking medication. I have been able to avoid pain meds for a couple of years. However, I recently had such a bad bout that I had to break down and take Ibuprofen for a couple of days. Acetaminophen has never done anything for pain any time I have ever taken it.

    If there’s something other than eating beets, ice, exercis, and rest that helps without interphering with bone growth, please pass it on.

    thanks!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Aloe vera juice is an option you might want to look at. It naturally contains salicylic acid – an aspirin-like compound – although, as with beets, it doesn’t have the adverse effects of aspirin because it doesn’t provide a pharmaceutical dose, and it’s a natural substance.

      After consulting with your doctor or naturopath about this, you can buy organic aloe juice and follow the bottle’s directions. You can get organic aloe vera juice at a discount at http://vitacost.com (this is a great source of deeply discounted brand-name supplements). If you do order it, make sure you get aloe vera juice and not aloe vera gel – the gel is meant for external use and is too thick to drink. 🙂

  33. Lori

    My dentist has just told me that my jaw bone density is fragile.
    I do have osteoporosis of the left hip and lower spine has osteopenia.
    I thought I was on the right track with nutrition and calcium supplement,
    but it is not good enough. Can you recommend a calcium supplement? My
    doctor had recommended Fosamax, Boniva or Reclast two years ago. Have
    not taken any of the above. Will be seeing my doctor in October. Did a
    bone scan last year and it was the same as four year ago. Vivian, thank
    you for all your helpful research.

    • Noma

      Check the studies done on Osteocare. The more information we have the better. I took said no to the drugs and have been on Osteocare for 4 years now.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Lori,

      You can get information about calcium and which types I recommend in my free Ultimate Calcium Guide.

      But it’s important to realize that bone health is about much more than calcium. In The Osteoporosis Reversal Program, I discuss the importance of a pH-balanced diet and taking the right supplements, as well as making sure you get the right kind of exercise. Lifestyle is also a critical component of bone health. So be sure you’re not focusing on calcium as the sole solution.

      • ESTELLE OGUS

        HELLO VIVIAN, LORI AND ANYONE ELSE WHO CAN ANSWER.
        I GOOGLED OSTEOCARE AND FOUND 2 DIFFERENT PRODUCTS, ONE WITH VARIOUS FOREIGN SOUNDING SUBSTANCES WHICH SUPPOSEDLY HAS PHYTOESTROGENIC HERBS FOR HORMONE BALANCE AND ANOTHER CALLED OSTEO-CARE WITH A HYPHEN, WHICH HAS FOSSILIZED CORAL CALCIUM AND VIT D AMD MAGNESIUM, ETC. THERE MAY BE OTHERS. DIDNT LOOK FURTHER. THE PICTURES OF THE BOTTLES LOOKED TOTALLY DIFFERENT ALSO. WHICH IS THE BEST OSTEOCARE OR OSTEO-CARE PRODUCT? DID IT HELP LORI AND WHICH ONE DID SHE TAKE, AND WITH WHAT RESULTS PLEASE.?? THANKS FOR SHARING.

  34. Barbara

    Dear Vivian,

    I have a question. In this article you say not to take aspirins. What if a person is on a daily aspirin as a blood thinner? I took Cumadin (Wayfarin) for 18 years and was very happy to be off of it and on only aspirin. Now???

    Barbara

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Barbara – As I suggested to Annie below, your best bet would be to consult with a naturopath or other holistic health practitioner to find natural alternatives to aspiring. There are many herbs and vitamins that have natural blood thinning properties.

  35. Patricia Harding

    Your Save Our Bones program and all the wonderful articles you keep sending are the greatest. I am so glad I purchased your book. Everyone should sign up for your free handbook to at least get started. Once they do, I’m sure they will continue with you forever. Thanks so much for all your knowledge, Pat

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      You are most welcome, Patricia! 🙂 I’m so pleased to hear that you enjoy the articles and have found the Osteoporosis Reversal Program helpful — thanks so much for your kind words.

  36. DOUG

    I have arthritis pain in my hands ( thumbs ). I have tried creams
    and pills to no avail. ALEV works the best, but I worry about the
    side affects. Would BEETS help? Is there any prescribed way to
    take them–( canned,fresh,organic, once a day or at regular meals.
    DOUG

    • Deborah

      Doug, I drink 4 oz of organic tart cherry juice daily. Sometimes twice a day. I also take pure cherry capsules. And eat fresh cherries when in season. Combine this with raw almonds. My hands have been so much better!! It truly works for me.

    • Carole

      Hi Doug,
      Here is what helped me when I was ‘diagnoses’ with Arthritis many years ago, which is a name doctors use for a multitude of similar symptoms, and I stupidly believed them and ‘took the tablets’.
      I tried all sorts of elimination diets and through this I eventually discovered the main culprit was WHITE SUGAR especially along with WHITE FLOUR. The common denominator with these are that they are Bleached?
      If I could I would tell the World to come off White Sugar and this Flour as I have since read many facts about both but especially Sugar, and it is a destroyer to the human system. You only ever hear about its effect on teeth especially children’s need to brush! You don’t hear the Truth about it.
      Best of Luck
      Carole

    • Richard Shorman

      I take Alendronate for my bones and Aleve for joint and muscle pain Im not sure either one works can you help me

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Doug – You might try juicing at first to get a more concentrated dose, and if at all possible, use organic beets. Once your pain is under control, prepare the beets any way you’d like, and eat them frequently! 🙂

    • LynnCS

      Doug. I am 73. Surprisingly, since going raw vegan, the pain has mostly gone away. The huge nodules/bone overgrowths also have diminished to a great extent. I even have a lot more mobility in my thumb joints. I do add a beet to my morning smoothie most of the time. Didn’t know they could help with the pain. I had heard that they were good for the heart, bones etc but this is more good news. Are you having green smoothies every day? It’s something to consider. My green smoothie is magenta from the beets. lol. 🙂

  37. Mohammadshamsul

    It is a dilema even for a doctor to to prescribe a pain killer in different diseased conditions. It is high time to make a list of drugs to inform the medical profession which painkiller is harmfull for health.

  38. Joel

    Vivian,

    Perhaps I’m not following, but aren’t beets, as natural COX-1 and COX-2 inhibitors, hindering the healing of bones just as the pharmaceuticals do? Other than their nutritional advantage, are beets really the answer when effective healing is the concern. Sounds like the best approach might be to just gut out the pain. Ouch!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Joel – Beets don’t present the same issues because the dose is much smaller (you’re not taking a “pharmaceutical dose), plus it’s from an natural, organic source, rather than synthetic.

  39. Cathy

    How timely is this tid-bit of info Vivian??? I have some arthritis, mostly in my hands, and 4 months ago had surgery in one hand to repair the osteoarthritis in the thumb. I’m still experiencing some pain and inflammation with that healing so was about to call my doctor to prescribe Celebrex (I’m not big on taking drugs, the occasional liquid Advil for pain, but thought I’d give Celebrex a try). I’m now going to look into COX-2. Thanks Vivian 🙂

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      I’m glad this info is timely for you, Cathy. Happy to help! 🙂

    • Cathy

      … and start eating beets 🙂

  40. Ita

    Thank you.Ita.

  41. LESLIE

    Hi! Vivian,

    Thank You VERY MUCH For Letting Us Know About Those Pain Killers That Are Bad For Your Bones. I Really Appreciate It!

    LOVE, MS. L. (LESLIE)

  42. ken osborn

    what about ice for controlling pain? I avoid as much as possible NSAIDs but do use ice initially followed by heat and ice later for major trauma to muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fortunately not needed for bone.

  43. Annie

    I didn’t realize how healthy Beets are!

    That said, are the Orange color beets I see in the Organic section of
    my market just as healthy as the Purple ones????

    There is a plus side to Asprin.
    A small baby asprin a day , or two, thins out the blood platlets as we get older.
    That helps stop or can help so we do not get a Stroke, or even a heart attack.
    It also has been proven, that two baby Asprins ward off certain types of Cancers.

    Take Care,
    Annie

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Annie – The list of NSAIDs in this article includes all aspirin dosages (remember, the study on fracture healing found that dosage didn’t play an important role compared to length of therapy). You can consult with a naturopathic doctor or other alternative health practitioner about other natural and effective ways to prevent blood clots. Many herbs and vitamins have powerful blood thinning properties without the risk of synthetic drugs.

      And here’s something a doctor will not tell you: aspirin – along with all NSAIDs – reduce the absorption and circulating levels of a crucial vitamin and antioxidant, Vitamin C.

    • Carol Reed

      I have a-fib so I also take a baby asprin for my heart. It’s a battle between the bones and my heart. Can you eat enough beets to thin your blood?

      • ESTELLE

        REGARDING NATURAL ALTERNATIVES TO HARMFUL DRUGS, INCLUDING NSAIDS ETC, THERE ARE SEVERAL BOOKS AVAILABLE. “NATURAL ALTERNATIVES TO DRUGS” OR SIMILAR TITLE, BY DR BALCH AND HIS WIFE PHYLLIS. NOT SURE OF SPELLING. ALSO DR DAVID BROWNSTEIN WROTE A BOOK, “DRUGS THAT DONT WORK, NATURAL REMEDIES THAT DO” ALSO AN APPROXIMATE TITLE. THERE ARE OTHER BOOKS ON IT ALSO. DR JONATHAN WRIGHT(COMPLEMENTARY MD) AND BYRON RICHARDS (NUTRITIONIST) GIVE FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTERS ON MANY ASPECTS OF NATURAL HEALING, PREFERRING IT TO DRUGS.LATTER ALSO GIVES A FREE EXCELLENT PODCAST EVERY WEDNESDAY ON LATEST RESEARCH ON VARIOUS NATURAL SUPPLEMENTS, FOODS, EXCERCISE ETC. YOU CAN LISTEN ANY TIME TO THE LAST 8 ON I-TUNES, OR YAHOO OR ZUNE RIGHT FROM HIS NEWSLETTER. PRETTY GOOD.
        I ONLY TAKE DRUGS AS A LAST RESORT, AS WITH HYPOTHYROIDISM, WHERE NOTHING NATURAL WORKED AND TOO MUCH SEAWEED CAUSED HASHIMOTOS THYROIDITIS. IOSOL IS A SAFER FORM OF IODINE.(THAN POTASSIUM IODIDE OR SEA WEED) DR BROWNSTEIN WROTE A BOOK ON IODINE ALSO. NEEDED TO PREVENT BREAST CANCER TOO…MAYBE FOR HEALING…MY GUESS
        ABOUT NATURAL PAIN MEDS: WILLOW BARK AND CURCUMIN ARE HELPFUL ALSO, IN SOME CASES. PREFERABLY FAR APART IN TIME…TO SPREAD OUT THE BENEFIT AND NOT DUPLICATE THE EFFECT. IF YOUR STOMACH CAN HANDLE IT, CAYENNE PEPPER BLOCKS THE PAIN SIGNAL. NOT SURE HOW MUCH TO TAKE IN CAPSULES. FOR ARTHRITIS, GOOD QUALITY FISH OIL IN ADDITION. THESE ALL ALSO THIN BLOOD, SO OMIT 10 DAYS BEFORE ANY SURGICAL PROCEDURE OR ENDOSCOPIC EXAM. NATURAL ANTI-INFLAMMATORIES USUALLY HELP PAIN AND ARE MILDER BLOOD THINNERS THAN DRUG BLOOD THINNNERS. HOPE THIS HELPS.
        .

        • Ruth

          Estelle, it is very difficult to read ALL-CAPS.

      • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

        Hi Carol, Beets are a good start (to get the most benefit from them, you might try juicing), but as I told Annie, your best bet would be to consult with a holistic health practitioner who can provide you with natural alternatives to aspirin.

  44. Feona

    Hi Vivian – I didn’t know that I would ever be grateful that I’m allergic to aspirin and all those other NSAIDS, too, but now I am! I have to rely on paracatemol if I’m in pain, but I try not to take that unless I really need it. Don’t know what the US name for paracetamol is, but I understand that it’s not an NSAID.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Feona – Paracetamol is not an NSAID (it’s known as acetaminophen in the U.S., and Tylenol is one of the brand names). But there are other issues with paracetamol, such as liver and kidney damage. The dosage should be carefully monitored by your doctor.

      • Steve Bergman

        The “danger” of liver damage with acetaminophen is minimal, despite negative coverage in the press. In almost all cases, daily doses in excess of 10g are involved. The maximum recommended daily dosage is 4g. And that is enough to keep you above acetaminophen’s analgesic ceiling. Studies have even been done comparing 4g daily doses of APAP in chronic alcoholics vs a control group. No difference in liver issues. Extra care might be advised for the elderly, and for those with active liver issues. I am not aware of any renal concerns at all, with APAP.

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