The 'secret sister' of the menopause.
I call bone thinning and the loss of bone strength during and beyond menopause as the 'secret sister' of the menopause, because if we don't know she's there, we don't go looking for her. And if we don't go looking for her and deal with her, she's going to pop out when we least expect and give us a fright!
It's easy to ignore bone thinning because we can't see it or feel it (until it's too late) whereas we feel the hot flashes and we experience the torment of anxiety, irritability and insomnia; these symptoms are more 'real' and concrete and we can deal with them via lifestyle changes, HRT and nutrition.
The scary truth is that Osteoporosis affects women more than men, partly due to lower bone density across our lifetime, but at menopause, the rate of bone loss reaches up to 6% a year! This is a terrible statistic and we should be shouting about this to young women and pre-menopausal woman so they can build up their bone strength to reduce this rate of loss.
So what can we do to help our bones keep strong?
· Increase exercises that load our bones to make them stronger, especially exercises using weights or resistance bands.
· Improve nutrition to include ‘bone building foods’ that are high in natural Calcium, vitamins, especially Vitamin D and phyto-estrogens such as yams.
· Take extra vitamins such as Vitamin D if not able to get enough from food. Recommended dosage is 800
iu of D3
Calcium Citrate 800-1000 mg a day.
· HRT, Hormone Replacement Therapy, has benefits for some women to reduce bone loss.
· Biphosphonate, such as Alendronic Acid, are important for some women, especially if there’s a strong Osteoporosis hereditary factor.