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OSTEOPOROSIS, BONE PROBLEMS, DENTAL PROBLEMS
Hyperthyroidism can be accompanied by some very bad dental problems. I went through some really bad periods where dental X-rays showed that my jaw bone was disintegrating. My teeth were loose and the tooth aches were incredible.
I managed to go from 1976 to 1998 without taking one single aspirin and only needed to take painkillers after hernia surgery. I hadn't taken any antibiotics for longer than that. But when I ran into hyperthyroidism induced dental problems I was forced into taking Tylenol around the clock and went through two sessions of taking antibiotics. It was really bad.
Consequently I know a little about dental problems which stem from hyperthyroidism. Also, you have probably heard that osteoporosis is a serious risk for hypers.
Calcium/magnesium metabolism gets seriously deranged in hyperthyroidism and it's essential to protect yourself from getting serious dental and bone problems.
Calcium and magnesium are also essential to control rapid heart rate. Many hypers use antithyroid medications and beta blockers to control the heart rate, but I didn't do this. I used calcium and magnesium.
I found early on that taking large doses of magnesium helped control the heart rate. Calcium and magnesium work together and neither should be taken for long without the other. I found that taking cal/mag in a 1:1 ratio worked very well for me to control my heart rate.
Dental and bone problems, however, tended to develop with a 1:1 ratio so I had to add some 2:1 ratio (cal to mag) to help control the tooth problems.
My serious dental problems developed when I tried to decrease the amount of cal/mag that I was taking. At the peak of the hyper episodes I was taking up to 36 capsules of cal/mag a day. This is 6000 mgs of each. Gradually I got that down to 3000 mgs. and that seemed to be a good amount for me.
When I tried to reduce the amount further is when I got the serious dental problems. I needed this much and I should have continued to take it until the need decreased.
Under the Supplements Page I wrote about the need to avoid taking large amounts of any one nutrient to prevent causing nutrient imbalances. Calcium and magnesium appear to be two minerals that do not cause imbalances of other minerals, perhaps because they are taken as a pair.
The ratio of calcium to magnesium may vary quite a bit for different people. One hyper woman in the group is taking much more magnesium than calcium and this works for her. You need to find the right ratio for you, and don't be surprised if this changes as you recover.
Teeth, and therefore probably bones, seem to need more calcium than the heart does. Calcium causes the heart to contract and magnesium makes it relax. In hyperthyroidism, we need more magnesium to keep the heart relaxed.
Bones and teeth, however, need more calcium. The 1:1 ratio of cal to mag may be great for the heart, but it may cause bone and teeth problems. I've found that it's best to have a 2:1 ratio supplement available also, in case tooth problems arise.
Recently I had a tooth ache develop. I had been having problems getting my calcium/magnesium balanced properly and had been experimenting with not taking any at all for several days at a time. I was able to get the tooth ache stopped in three days by the following 123 program:
1. FASTING AND 2:1 CALCIUM/MAGNESIUM
First I stopped eating anything--total fasting--with the exception of taking a 2:1 calcium/magnesium supplement. I would take as much as necessary for pain relief. Whenever I'd feel the pain increase, I would take 4-6 tablets and usually within 30 minutes the pain had subsided significantly.
2. RAW FOODS AND NO SALT (SODIUM)
I fasted for 36 hours and then commenced eating only raw foods. I ate celery first and then moved into salads with lettuce, avocado, tomato, and cucumber. I used absolutely no salt because salt (probably the sodium) interferes with calcium metabolism. You may find a great improvement in relieving tooth aches and muscle cramps from low calcium by avoiding salt.
3. AVOID SUGARS AND GRAINS
Next I avoided all sugars, even fruits, because sugars also interfere with calcium metabolism. By not eating any cooked foods, I also avoided grains (another negative for calcium).
By the third day, the tooth ache was 98% gone and I could start eating a small amount of fruit again. My need for the calcium/magnesium had significantly reduced and I felt much better than I had before I got the toothache.
I think that these steps are all important for preventing tooth and bone problems. In the long run, following these dietary practices can greatly reduce osteoporosis.
While you might not be able to go a long time on raw foods, it is a tremendous tool to regain balance, especially with cal/mag metabolism.
So when tooth or bone problems arise, or to prevent them: no salt, sugar, or cooked foods; take 2:1 cal/mag.
TEXTBOOK OSTEOPOROSIS INFORMATIONWilliams' Textbook of Endocrinology, 9th Edition, 1998.
Bone is under a constant process of resorption and formation. As we age, formation lessens. After peak bone mass is achieved, bone mass remains stable (resorption and formation are equal). Excessive bone resorption (increased the most 5-15 years after menopause in women) is a reflection of increased activation frequency more than increased amount of bone resorbed.
The most common form of secondary osteoporosis is induced by exogenous glucocorticoids. This is particularly common in postmenopausal women, presumably because they have a tendency to develop primary osteoporosis and are more susceptible to the effects. However, fragility fractures can occur in any patient treated with glucocorticoids at moderate to high doses for a long period. In most instances of TED, glucocorticoids are used at small doses for short periods.
"Glucocorticoid induced osteoporosis is a result of both increased bone resorption and decreased bone formation. Increased resorption may be caused by decreased calcium absorption and the resulting secondary hyperparathyroidism. Decreased bone formation is probably caused by direct inhibition of osteoblasts, which are highly sensitive to glucocorticoids. (As little as 2.5 mg of prednisone at bedtime can block the normal nocturnal rise in osteocalcin, a hormone promoting bone formation.)."
"Hyperthyroidism can produce bone loss. In young people, however, the increase in bone formation is usually sufficient to offset the effects of resorption. If the disease is treated early, changes in bone mass are small."
As calcium is released from bone in hyperthyroidism, some patients will have excess serum calcium levels (hypercalcemia). This causes a decrease in parathyroid hormone (PTH). This low PTH interferes with the body's conversion of vitamin D (vitamin D is dependent on adequate PTH). Diminished intestinal absorption of vitamin D cause increased urinary calcium loss. The significance of this is that a slight increase in thyroid hormone levels can initiate this process. And this can ultimately result in osteoporosis. However, the thyroid also secretes the hormone calcitonin in response to high serum calcium levels. Calcitonin increases the activity of the bone producing cells known as osteoblasts and reduces activity of the osteoclasts, cells which break down bone. So the calcitonin tends to offset the effects of low PTH, etc. and the net effect is less than what was once thought. Of course, we're all different. Postmenopausal women in particular are more likely to be affected.