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How Much Calcium Does A Menopausal Woman Need

The Importance Of Exercise After Menopause

Calcium, How Much Do Women Need To Protect Their Bones?

Many women gain weight after menopause. This may be because of declining estrogen levels. Raising your activity level will help avoid this weight gain. Regular exercise benefits the heart and bones, helps control weight, and can improve your mood. Women who are not physically active are more likely to have heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Sedentary women may also have chronic back pain, insomnia, poor circulation, weak muscles, and depression.

Aerobic activities, such as walking, jogging, swimming, biking, and dancing, help prevent some of these problems. It also helps raise HDL cholesterol levels, the “good” cholesterol. Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking and running, as well as moderate weight training, help increase bone mass. In postmenopausal women, moderate exercise helps preserve bone mass in the spine and prevents fractures.

Exercise also helps improve mood. Hormones, called endorphins, are released in the brain. Improved mood lasts for several hours. It also helps the body fight stress.

Always check with your healthcare provider before starting an exercise program, particularly if you have been sedentary. Your healthcare provider can recommend the best exercise program for you.

Womens Calcium Needs During Menopause

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How Much Calcium Should A Postmenopausal Woman Take

Getting more than the RDA value of calcium may increase your risk of kidney stones, heart disease from increased calcification in the arteries, and potentially colon cancer, though more evidence is needed to support these claims.

Preliminary research shows that vitamin K2, which plays an important role in calcium metabolization, can help with heart health if this is a concern for you be sure to talk to your doctor first.

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Vegan Or Vegetarian Diet

Women who follow a plant-based diet may need to plan their meals to ensure that they consume enough of each nutrient.

For example, vitamin B12 only tends to occur naturally in animal products. Therefore, vegans and vegetarians may need to take supplements or eat foods fortified with vitamin B12. Examples of these include some breakfast cereals and milk alternatives.

There may also be low levels of iron, protein, calcium, and zinc in a vegetarian or vegan diet. The best way to prevent deficiencies while following one of these is to eat a balanced and varied diet that includes foods such as:

  • beans, peas, and legumes
  • dark green, leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, and mustard greens
  • fortified breakfast cereals, drinks, and milk alternatives
  • nutritional yeast products

During pregnancy, women should supplement with iron, vitamin B12, and vitamin D, as well as folate and other nutrients.

A doctor can advise whether or not certain supplements are beneficial.

Calcium Supplements: Rules Of Thumb

How Much Calcium a Body Needs? And How to Get it?  Older ...

It is a good idea to take your calcium twice a day, inside of in one dose, because your body can absorb only 600 milligrams of elemental calcium at a time.

Do not take calcium with iron, because it interferes with its absorption.

Also avoid taking calcium supplements with high-fiber meals or bulk laxatives, as they can cut down on the amount of calcium you absorb.

Be sure that your calcium is actually doing what youre paying for by putting your tablets through this simple absorbability test Drop one tablet in a small glass or bowl with white vinegar and stir it every few minutes.

After fifteen minutes to half an hour has passed, the pill should have disintegrated. If it hasnt dissolved in the vinegar, it wont dissolve in your stomach either making it essentially useless. In this case, you should get another brand or try another form.

Where calcium is concerned, you can get too much of a good thing. Over 2,000 milligrams a day of elemental calcium may pose problems for your kidneys. So if you have had kidney stones or have a family history of them, talk to your doctor before taking calcium supplements.

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Whats Best A Tablet Capsule Or Liquid

Calcium supplements are available as tablets, chewable tablets, dispersible tablets, capsules, liquids, and powders. No one formulation is better than any other, its all down to personal preference. However, do follow the instructions carefully. Only take the recommended amount. If its a chewable tablet, chew it thoroughly. If you are measuring it out on a spoon, do it carefully. If it is a slow-release calcium tablet do not crush or break the tablet.

Women Need More Calcium Say Experts

Even women with osteoporosis fail to get the bone-building benefits of calcium

Sept. 26, 2005 — Despite a major push by health authorities, most American women still aren’t getting enough bone-building calcium even when they are being treated for osteoporosis.

Calcium is important,” says Robert P. Heaney, MD, of the Osteoporosis Research Center at Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha, Neb. “You want to tell American women to go to the chalkboard and write 1,000 times, ‘I will take my calcium.'”

Heaney reported his findings at the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research 27 Annual meeting here.

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Recommendations Of How Much Calcium You Need To Take Per Day May Be Too High And Could Harm More Than Help

How much calcium per day is recommended? Like many women, you may have memorized the minimum daily calcium requirement1,000 milligrams a day for women ages 50 and younger and 1,200 mg for women over 50and followed it faithfully in an effort to preserve your bones. You’ll probably be surprised to learn that many health authorities don’t agree with that recommendation. Dr. Walter Willett, chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, thinks you’re likely to do just as well on half as much calcium.

“Essentially, I think that adults do not need 1,200 mg of calcium a day. The World Health Organization’s recommendation of 500 mg is probably about right. The United Kingdom sets the goal at 700 mg, which is fine, too. It allows for a little leeway,” he says.

Why is 1,200 mg of calcium per day recommended?

Adequate calcium is necessary for good health, and not just because it’s a major component of our bones. It also plays a vital role in keeping our organs and skeletal muscles working properly. The body gets the calcium it needs for basic functions by releasing the calcium stored in our bones into the blood through bone remodelingthe process by which bone is constantly broken down and rebuilt.

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The downside of calcium supplements

The studies also revealed a couple of downsides to high levels of calcium supplementation, but not to calcium obtained through a regular diet:

Calcium Intake For Adults Over Age 55

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Questions about calcium supplements for older adults are in the news. Recent studies published in the British Medical Journal found that extra dietary calcium intake was not associated with fracture reduction and increasing dietary calcium intake does not prevents fractures.

However, says Mayo Clinic endocrinologist Dr. Robert Wermers, Americans aren’t getting enough calcium in their diet. The median dietary intake in the U.S. for women age 50 or older is 589-649 mg per day and 728-777 per day for men. He says despite the new findings, he recommends patients follow the Institute of Medicines guidelines of 1200 mg of calcium in women 51 years of age and older, 1000 mg daily for men 51-70 years old and 1200 mg for those above 70 years of age.

Dr. Wermers says, “The ability to maintain calcium balance worsens and bone loss accelerates after 50 years of age. Your risk of fracture also increases with older age. In fact, several studies have shown that calcium combined with low daily doses of vitamin D reduces fracture risk and increases bone density.” Calcium supplements, he says, should be considered only if you do not get the recommended daily amount of calcium through diet.

The body doesn’t produce calcium on its own and we need vitamin D to help absorb it. So, how do we get calcium in our diet? Sources include:

Vitamin D can be found in many foods including fish, eggs, fortified milk, and cod liver oil.

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Supplements You Should Be Taking After Menopause

Hormonal shifts are responsible for most of the wonderful side effects of menopause, including an increased risk of certain diseases and conditions. When estrogen drops, the risk for osteoporosis and heart disease risesas does the tendency to suffer from symptoms such as hot flashes, mood changes, and vaginal dryness.

To combat this, vitamins and supplements can be a key component of a woman’s care during and after menopause, but the process of deciding which ones to take can be overwhelming. “When it comes to supplements for menopause, there isn’t just one pill,” says Jacqui Justice, a clinical nutritionist at the NY Health & Wellness Center. “It’s a process. It’s a complex system.”

Keep in mind that supplements are not regulated or evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, but you can often get a better quality supplement with fewer fillers and more of the key ingredient when you purchase them through a certified practitioner, says Mark Menolascino, MD, a board-certified physician in internal medicine, holistic medicine, and advanced hormone management and anti-aging medicine, and key medical opinion leader at Lycored. “Functional medicine practitioners like me use pharmaceutical-grade supplements that have been tested prior to and after manufacture. They are 99% pure, whereas the average retail supplement may be only 1 to 20% pure and full of binders,” explains Menolascino. “If you work with a practitioner who understands the quality, then there is a huge benefit.”

Assessment Of Early Menopause

On the 1989 baseline questionnaire, nurses were asked if their periods had ceased permanently with the following response options: 1) no: premenopausal 2) yes: no menstrual periods 3) yes: had menopause but now have periods induced by hormones and 4) not sure . Nurses who indicated that their periods had ceased were asked the following questions: 1) At what age did your periods cease? and 2) For what reason did your periods cease? . In addition, women were asked about their current and past use of replacement sex hormones. These questions were repeated on all subsequent questionnaires. Age at natural menopause was defined as age after 12 consecutive months of amenorrhea that was not due to radiation, chemotherapy, or surgery. A small number of women reported being postmenopausal on one questionnaire and subsequently reported being premenopausal. For these women, we defined the age at menopause as the age after which periods were absent 12 mo and confirmed that this status persisted for 3 consecutive questionnaires.

NHS2 participant flowchart: 19892011. FFQ, food-frequency questionnaire NHS2, Nurses Health Study II.

Women were followed prospectively until 2011 for self-report of the cessation of menses, as previously defined, or first report of a hysterectomy, bilateral or unilateral oophorectomy, cancer , loss to follow-up, or death. We identified cases of early menopause as women who reported having natural menopause before the age of 45 y.

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Vitamin D And Calcium

During menopause, estrogen levels fall, and the risk of developing osteoporosis increases. Osteoporosis weakens the bones and increases the risk of fractures. Calcium and vitamin D are essential for good bone health.

So, women should ensure that they adopt a diet and lifestyle that enable them to maintain levels of these vitamins.

Vitamin D

Womens activity levels and overall health status can affect their dietary needs.

What Are The Current Recommendations For Calcium Supplements In Menopausal Women

Do Women Really Need So Much Calcium?

Women aged over 50 are currently recommended to ingest calcium 1200mg/day from all sources, along with 800 -1,000 IU of vitamin D .

Diet and calcium You can work out from your diet whether you are taking in this much calcium every day, by looking at the calcium content of food and drink. Its always preferable to get enough calcium naturally through your diet if you can. Your body is designed to absorb natural vitamins and minerals and will not absorb so well from any alternative source.

However, for many women, ingesting this much calcium in the diet isnt possible. For example, there are 50 mg calcium in one orange. To have 1200 mg calcium per day means eating 24 oranges! Very often, women resort to taking a calcium supplement.

Calcium supplements Nutritional surveys confirm that dietary intake of calcium is frequently far less than it should be. Doctors start with an assumption most adults have a dietary intake of calcium of only around 300 mg/day.

Bone loss and fracture risk increase in menopausal and postmenopausal women, when dietary intake of calcium is less than 700-800 mg/day.

If you start taking calcium supplements, its still important to have plenty of calcium in your diet. Supplements are just that you take them in addition, and not as an alternative.

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What Do I Need Magnesium For

Now magnesium is a mineral and its actually the fourth most abundant mineral in our body. And its needed for literally hundreds of different chemical processes. So its very, very, very important. Now just, for instance, magnesium is needed to keep your bones healthy. Its needed for good nerve function. Its needed to keep your mood up. We actually call it your happy mineral. Its needed for good muscle function. Its needed to keep your heart healthy. Its needed to keep your thyroid balanced. Its needed to regulate calcium in the body, which again is really important for your bones. Its needed for your hormones. Very important in the menopause. Its needed for sleep. Its needed to keep your blood pressure level. Its needed to give you healthy hair and nails. And its also known to help to keep you young, which is very important for us at this particular point in our lives.

Exercises That Can Help Keep The Calcium Flowing

The other thing to do is weight bearing exercises in order to help to keep the calcium flow going. So we’re looking at things like walking, brisk walking, power walking, jogging if you can do it. And ballgames like tennis can be absolutely wonderful. Dancing you know if you love dancing, this is the fabulous regular exercise for keeping your bones absolutely strong.

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How Much Magnesium Do You Need

So how much magnesium do you actually need on a daily basis? In the UK, the daily recommended allowance is 270mg, but I personally feel that during the menopause, we need a little bit more than that just to keep everything in balance. So one of the best ways to get extra magnesium is to get it in supplement form, but you need to be careful. You need to get the right sort of magnesium and you need to make sure that youre not actually taking too much. I tend to recommend things like magnesium citrate capsules. You can get liquid magnesium tonics and you can also get magnesium powders now that you can just mix into water or fruit juice. And our Menopause Support actually has magnesium in it as well for those of you who are interested in taking a combination.

I would normally suggest starting at 200mg a day and see how you get on with that. Magnesium tends to work really quickly at making you feel better, so you should certainly know within a week or two, if not sooner, if its actually going to help you.

You could try

MAG365 Magnesium SupplementThis easy-to-absorb powdered magnesium supplement dissolves in water and helps to support a normal healthy nervous system.

What About Soy And Flax

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Both soy and flax contain phytoestrogens, estrogen-like compounds found in plants. The level of estrogen in the body decreases in menopause. This causes the unpleasant side effects of menopause. Women often try soy and flax in food or pills to help relieve these side effects. So far, however, studies have not proven that soy and flax in food or pills help. Even though they may not help to reduce menopausal symptoms, soy and flax seeds are healthy foods. You may still want to include them in your diet*.

*If you have had breast cancer, talk to your doctor or registered dietitian before adding soy or flax foods to your diet.

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What Should You Avoid

Now, what about the things that you should avoid? Number one is salt. Salt will leach calcium from your bones and that will lead to brittle and weak bones.

Caffeine is another one that is so bad for the bones and they reckon more than two cups of caffeine and coffee a day will cause problems with your bones which is quite horrific.

We’ve got alcohol. And alcohol will interfere with the absorption and utilisation of calcium. So that should be kept definitely at a minimum.

We’ve got soft drinks and soft drinks contain chemicals called phosphates and phosphates, the body really doesn’t like the phosphates they’re very acidic. So if you drink a lot of fizzy drinks and soft fruit juices with lots of sugar in them the body will take the calcium from your bones in order to neutralise these phosphates. So fizzy drinks really should be avoided at all cost if you want to have nice healthy bones.

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