Imagine you are a young mother having your back pain diagnosed as osteoporosis, or thinning of the bones. How devastating would that be?

Actually it is more common than you might think, as this disease is increasingly being seen at a younger age.

I watched a TV documentary recently featuring two young mothers with severe osteoporosis. Both had suffered painful spinal fractures and ongoing limitations in their ability to function well due to pain.

As you can imagine, trying to cope with young children without being able to lift and carry them presents a constant challenge.

Osteoporosis is generally a disease of older people, i.e. post menopausal women and men over 60 years. So what are the factors that contribute to this disease in young women?

Pregnancy and lactation draw a significant amount of calcium from the mother’s body.

An old wives tale used to say that women would lose a tooth for every pregnancy (attributed to calcium depletion). This is probably less of a problem today due to better nutrition, but the issue clearly still exists.

Our western diet still leaves a lot to be desired, plus the fact we are exposed to more heavy metals and toxins than ever before.

Eating excess sodium (salt) interferes with calcium levels, as the more salt you eat; the more calcium is excreted in the urine.

According to a 2013 Japanese study, eating a high salt diet is associated with a higher fracture risk. Phosphorus is another mineral that needs to be in the correct balance with calcium to maintain healthy bones.

Intake of phosphorus is at an all time high, due to fertilisers used to grow our food, plus high levels in carbonated soft drinks. Regularly drinking these beverages depletes the bones of calcium.

Fluoride intake is also linked to fractures, as several studies have demonstrated.

The most common sources of fluoride are toothpaste and in drinking water, so you may want to use non-fluoridated toothpaste (adults) and check if your local water supply has added fluoride.

In practice I see quite a few back pain cases in young mothers that improve with calcium supplements.

A course of calcium during the third trimester of pregnancy, and a repeat while breastfeeding is a good insurance policy to help replace the calcium “bone bank”.

This needs to be a high quality, easily absorbed type of calcium. Ethi Cal Bone Builder tablets or powder contain calcium hydroxyapatite, derived from organic cattle bones. This type of calcium has been found to improve bone density faster than other calcium sources.

Of course vegetarians will not want to take this product, so there is an excellent plant sourced alternative, Green Calcium (capsules or powder) from a marine plant harvested off the coast of Iceland. This supplement also contains several other trace minerals needed for bone health.

Magnesium is also necessary for strong bones. Deficiency of this important mineral is common in our society as the body uses higher amounts to help counter the effects of stress.

More magnesium means more calcium is absorbed into the body and ultimately, into the bones. The optimal ratio of calcium to magnesium is 2:1.

Vitamin D3 is the other crucial supplement for bone health, amongst other vital functions such as immunity.

Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin, and with our increased awareness of skin cancer, use of sunblock products, hats and cover up clothing as well as our indoor lifestyle, Vit D deficiency has become extremely common.

Taking a Vit D3 supplement is vital to build and maintain bone health.

In summary, there are effective natural ways to maintain bone health with diet, nutritional supplements and lifestyle factors including exercise and adequate sun exposure.

Stay strong, stay well!

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  • The doctor suggested I could have it as I’m petite, a woman and postmenstrual and also vegetarian.


  • hopefully we can try to prevent this


  • this is me I got it when I was 30 , I am a lot older now and it can be pretty painful yo walk at times


  • Calcium and Minerals can also be depleted through the use of other prescribed medications. Some epileptic patients were given Dilantin as an anti-convulsant, not know that it has those side-effects, especially in women.
    I found that taking calcium supplements decreased the severity of period pain and I was very happy about that. Instead of tossing and turning I actually got some sleep at night.


  • Again it sounds like healthy habits are the key.


  • I have osteoporis and it was very hard on my hips during pregnancy but now i am breastfeeding ive reached 6 months i have bad pains and shooting sharp pains everyday. My mum says baby is taking all my nutrients but i really want to continue bfeeding until my little guy is 1 year old.

    • It is really important for you to replace your Calcium stores right now. EthiCal bone calcium tablets or powder, Vit D3 capsules and Magnesium tablets are the three supplements you need to take, especially if you want to continue breastfeeding. If you need more help sourcing these or recommended dosage, contact me via blog or website.


  • Is there any supplement that is better then the rest i have done some reading as my dr suggested i take a supplement i read alot about corral calcium so confused when there are so many options? Thanks :)

    • Yes there are lots of different types of calcium supplements. If you know you have osteoporosis (thinning of the bones) it is best to take a bone calcium such as EthiCal Bone Builder. If you just want to take a good calcium supplement while you are pregnant or breastfeeding to build up your levels, try a natural calcium like Green Calcium that is plant sourced and has other trace minerals .Or you can take Calcium and Magnesium (Cal-Mag) as this combination is good for your bones. Reputable brands such as Thompsons and Blackmores are easily sourced in many pharmacies. The others I referred to are available on http://www.backneckessentials.com.au. I don’t think Coral Calcium is the best type and I have never taken it myself. It is an inorganic type of calcium that is less well absorbed than plant or animal bone sourced Calcium. Hope this helps.


  • my bones are starting to get osteoarthritis and this can be quite painful


  • I’ll try a calcium supplement to see if it helps, thanks for your article.

    • A good quality calcium supplement can make more of a difference.


  • Thanks for the article…lots of valuable information there.

    • I hope you can use the info and share it with others


  • My mum had secondary bone cancer and it was such a horrible disease.
    I really enjoyed reading and will take note of it all thank you :)

    • Thanks for commenting. Take care of your bones!


  • I read a while a go that coke can also strip your bones of calcium

    • Yes that’s right. Carbonated drinks contain phosphoric acid that can cause decalcification of bones – and teeth! Cola drinks also have high levels of caffeine that also contribute to the problem. When you drink these day in, day out the cumulative effect on bone loss over time can become a real issue.

      • Thank you for the warning. I rarely drink soft drink but I dotend to drink more in the excessively hot weather.


  • a lot of people forget about the sun and think they just need calcium

    • This is such a good point. Most people have an indoor lifestyle (work indoors etc) and lack sufficient sun exposure, especially in winter. But we also have to be careful of skin cancer.


  • vitamin d is good for so much

    • Yes it is, including bone density, immune function and genetic regulation (read: cancer, multiple sclerosis, diabetes and more). Deficiency is widespread. A blood test can tell you what your levels are.


  • An important topic thanks for sharing

    • You are welcome. Feel free to share info with others who could benefit


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