Tag: Skeletal Fluorosis
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X-Ray Diagnosis of Skeletal Fluorosis
In 1937, Kaj Roholm published his seminal study Fluorine Intoxication in which he described three phases of bone changes that occur in skeletal fluorosis. (See below). These three phases, which are detectable by x-ray, have been widely used as a diagnostic guide for detecting the disease. They describe an osteosclerotic bone disease that develops first in the axial skeleton (the spine, pelvis, and ribs), and ultimately results in extensive calcification of ligaments and cartilage, as well as bony outgrowths such as osteophytes and exostoses. Subsequent research has found, however, that x-rays provide a very crude measure for diagnosing fluorosis since the disease can cause symptoms and effects (e.g., osteoarthritis) before, and in the absence of, radiologicaly detectable osteosclerosis in the spine.
As demonstrated by the studies below, skeletal fluorosis may produce adverse symptoms, including arthritic pains, clinical osteoarthritis, gastrointestinal disturbances, and bone fragility, before the classic bone change of fluorosis (i.e., osteosclerosis in the spine and pelvis) is detectable by x-ray. Relying on x-rays, therefore, to diagnosis skeletal fluorosis will invariably fail to protect those individuals who are suffering from the pre-skeletal phase of the disease. Moreover, some individuals with clinical skeletal fluorosis will not develop an increase in bone density, let alone osteosclerosis, of the spine. Thus, relying on unusual increases in spinal bone density will under-detect the rate of skeletal fluoride poisoning in a population.
Skeletal Fluorosis: The Misdiagnosis Problem
It is a virtual certainty that there are individuals in the general population unknowingly suffering from some form of skeletal fluorosis as a result of a doctor’s failure to consider fluoride as a cause of their symptoms. Proof that this is the case can be found in the following case reports of skeletal fluorosis written by doctors in the U.S. and other western countries. As can be seen, a consistent feature of these reports is that fluorosis patients–even those with crippling skeletal fluorosis–are misdiagnosed for years by multiple teams of doctors who routinely fail to consider fluoride as a possible cause of their disease.
Fluoride & Osteomalacia
One of fluoride’s most well-defined effects on bone tissue is it’s ability to increase the osteoid content of bone. Osteoid is unmineralized bone tissue. When bones have too much of it, they become soft and prone to fracture — a condition known as osteomalacia. As shown below, fluoride has repeatedly been found to cause osteomalacia, in […]
Skeletal Fluorosis Causes Bones to be Brittle & Prone to Fracture
It has been known since as the early as the 1930s that patients with skeletal fluorosis have bone that is more brittle and prone to fracture. More recently, however, researchers have found that fluoride can reduce bone strength before the onset of skeletal fluorosis. Included below are some of the many studies finding that fluorotic […]
Fluoride Reduces Bone Strength Prior to Onset of Skeletal Fluorosis
The majority of animal studies investigating fluoride’s impact on bone strength have found that fluoride has either no effect, or a detrimental effect, on bone strength. Importantly, several of the animal studies that have found fluoride reductes bone strength have reported that this reduction in strength occurs before signs of skeletal fluorosis are detectable. Similar findings […]
Fluoride Magnifies Impact of Repetitive Stress on Joints
Research has repeatedly found that fluoride’s effect on the skeleton is most pronounced in the bones and joints that undergo the greatest strain. Indeed, both the symptoms of fluorosis (i.e., joint pain and stiffness) as well as the radiological findings (e.g., exostoses, interosseuous membrane calcification) have been found to occur earliest, and most severely, in the joints that receive the most stress. […]
Gastrointestinal Problems Among Individuals with Skeletal Fluorosis
Humans suffering from skeletal fluorosis are known to suffer from an increased occurrence of gastrointestinal disorders. When fluoride intake is reduced, these gastrointestinal problems are among the first symptoms to disappear. The following are some of the studies that have examined this issue: “It is clear from the observations presented in this article that fluoride damages teeth, […]
Fluoridation, Dialysis & Osteomalacia
In the 1960s and 1970s, doctors discovered that patients receiving kidney dialysis were accumulating very high levels of fluoride in their bones and blood, and that this exposure was associated with severe forms of osteomalacia, a bone-softening disease that leads to weak bones and often excruciating bone pain. Based on this discovery, dialysis units were […]
Kidney Patients Are at Increased Risk of Fluoride Poisoning
It is well established that individuals with kidney disease are susceptible to suffering bone damage and other ill effects from low levels of fluoride exposure. Kidney patients are at elevated risk because when kidneys are damaged they are unable to efficiently excrete fluoride from the body. As a result, kidney patients accumulate up to four times […]