Teens: What You Can Do Now
Osteoporosis is the disease that is most likely to cause weak bones. It is more common in older people, especially women. But it is doesnt have to happen to YOU when you get older. Thats because, for many people, osteoporosis can be prevented.
Most people dont have the opportunity that you have right now: YOU can actually build denser, stronger bones now in a way that isnt possible later. This will make you healthier, and it will set you up to have stronger bones when you are older when weak bones can be serious.
The recipe for bone health is simple:
- Dont smoke or drink
Have Your Hormones Checked
Hormonal decline is one of the most common reasons for bone loss after menopause in women. Andropause, the male equivalent of menopause, also causes bone loss in men. Adequate levels of estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone are important for bone maintenance.
Excess levels of cortisol, insulin and parathyroid hormone can also cause bone loss. Most physicians never check for these levels. An elevated calcium level in the serum is a clue that parathyroid hormone might be in excess. Excess refined sugars and starches in the diet cause elevated insulin levels. Excess stress causes elevated cortisol levels.
Get The Right Kind Of Calcium
Tums is one of the worst sources for calcium. In addition to being composed of calcium carbonate, which is a poorly absorbed form of calcium, it decreases the stomach acid even further. Calcium citrate and calcium hydroxyapatite are the best forms of calcium to take. They need to be taken on an empty stomach for best absorption, and only 500 mg at a time . A total dose of 1000 to 1200 mg per day is adequate for most menopausal women.
You May Like: Heightened Sense Of Smell Perimenopause
When Should I Contact A Doctor For Osteoporosis
“If you break a bone from what seems like a minor injury, it is very important to follow up with a bone density scan to check that osteoporosis is not a factor,” O’Leary stresses.
In addition, you should consider speaking to your doctor about a DXA scan if you have risk factors for osteoporosis. These include:
- Having a body mass index under 18.5.
- Having gone through the menopause before the age of 45.
- A history of your periods stopping for at least 6-12 months before you went through the menopause.
- Having a parent or sibling with a history of osteoporosis.
- Being very immobile.
- Certain medical conditions such as coeliac disease Crohn’s disease overactive thyroid gland Cushing’s syndrome chronic kidney disease type 1 diabetes chronic liver disease or rheumatoid arthritis.
Drinking more than four units a day of alcohol, as well as smoking, also increase your risk of osteoporosis.
There are drug treatments available that either build bones or slow the breakdown of bones which will be recommended for you. It is a good idea to see a rheumatologist who specialises in bone health to manage your care.
It is also a good idea to speak to an exercise professional who specialises in bone health to design a bespoke exercise programme for you.
Bioidentical Estrogen May Help Prevent Osteoporosis After Menopause
For many women, maintaining a healthy diet, exercising frequently, and refraining from smoking simply arent enough to make up for their bodys lack of estrogen after menopause when it comes to preventing osteoporosis. The good news is that it may be possible to give your bones the estrogen that they need to stay dense even if your body doesnt produce enough estrogen on its own anymore.
Researchers have found that taking additional estrogen may be effective at preventing bone loss in postmenopausal women. This means that if a healthy lifestyle isnt sufficient to stop your bones from losing their density, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy may give you the additional support you need to stave off osteoporosis.
Bioidentical hormones are chemically and structurally identical to the hormones your body produces. When you undergo bioidentical hormone replacement therapy after menopause, your bonesand the rest of your bodywill react in the same way that they would to your own natural estrogen. As a result, you may be able to prevent or slow bone loss before you experience the debilitating loss of bone density and mobility problems associated with osteoporosis. While bioidentical hormone replacement therapy shouldnt be the only part of your osteoporosis prevention strategy, many women find that it helps them feel better and stay healthy.
Recommended Reading: Is Dizziness A Symptom Of Menopause
What Can I Do To Prevent Osteoporosis In Menopause
“We can’t necessarily prevent osteoporosis as it depends on so many different factors. However, the good news is that there are various things we can do to reduce the risk of osteoporosis and, importantly, reduce the risk of breaking a bone,” OLeary says.
Exercise is recommended for reducing your risk of breaking a bone, but it must be done safely.
- Exercise regularly as per the government guidelines of 150 minutes per week.
- Exercise should include 2-3 sessions per week that are using weights, body weight or resisted exercise.
- Exercise should include balance training to reduce the risk of falls.
- The protective element specific to osteoporosis is impact. This means running, jumping, skipping, dancing, hopping, and basically anything that gives impact to the bones can help stimulate bone development.
- The specific exercises that are good for you will depend on your diagnosis, your medical history and current exercise profile. This is something that should be advised on by an exercise professional who specialises in osteoporosis, such as a physiotherapist.
How Can I Prevent Osteoporosis
There are multiple ways you can help protect yourself against osteoporosis. Lifestyle changes can make huge improvements to bone strength, many you can start TODAY!
Getting enough calcium throughout your life helps to build and keep strong bones. The recommended daily allowance of calcium for adults with a low-to-average risk of developing osteoporosis is 1,000mg each day. For postmenopausal women, the RDA increases up to 1,200mg each day.
Eat foods high in calcium: Excellent sources of calcium are milk and dairy products , include salmon, tinned or fresh in your weekly diet. Increase the amount of green vegetables you eat, specifically BROCCOLI and BRUSSELS SPROUTS, calcium-fortified orange juice, and breads made with calcium-fortified flour.
Vitamin D: Your body uses vitamin D to absorb calcium. Being out in the sun for a total of 20 minutes every day can helps us make vitamin D but few of us in the UK will have adequate levels. In addition to suppliments which you can buy from a reputable supplier you can also get vitamin D from eggs, fatty fish like salmon, cereal and milk fortified with vitamin D.
Other preventive steps. Limit alcohol consumption and do not smoke. Smoking causes your body to make less oestrogen, which protects the bones. Too much alcohol can damage your bones and increase the risk of falling and breaking a bone.
Recommended Reading: Dizziness During Menopause
What Are Some Of The Early Signs Of Osteoporosis
Usually osteoporosis does not cause any symptoms until a break occurs. One sign may be loss of height. By the time a bone fracture occurs, even after a small fall, osteoporosis may have already done its damage. Understanding the risk factors previously mentioned, is the best way to determine if you are at risk for osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis Canada recommends that all postmenopausal women, men over 50, and all individuals over the age of 65, be assessed to see if they are at risk for osteoporosis. Assessment involves measuring your height annually and assessing bone mineral density which is safe and painless, much like an X-ray. A BMD test can tell you whether or not you have osteoporosis and how likely you are to develop it in the future, and can help you to make decisions now that may prevent fractures or further bone loss. You may also have a blood test to measure your calcium levels and other markers of bone health.
Can You Prevent Menopause Bone Loss
Yes! And you should work on prevention as soon as possible.
You can keep your bones strong by:
- get enough calcium around 1,200mg a day through diet and supplements. Foods rich in calcium include dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt
- watch your vitamin D, especially if you cant get outside . Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and tuna are good sources, as well as butter, eggs and meat. Take around 10-20mg a day
- stop smoking
- exercise, especially weight-bearing exercise that help strengthen your bones and as well as your muscles to protect your bones
- watch your weight and stay in health limits
- and watch your alcohol intake.
HRT can also help prevent menopause bone loss by adding oestrogen back to your body. This is why its given if you go through menopause under the age of 40.
Also Check: Are Sweet Potatoes Good For Menopause
How To Control Osteoporosis During Menopause
01 April, 2019
Osteoporosis is a disease that affects your bones. Its caused by a reduction in your bone tissue. Its mainly seen in older people and in women who have gone through menopause. Therefore, controlling osteoporosis during menopause is vital. This will let you enjoy better health and overall well-being.
This disease weakens your bones, making them fragile and prone to breaking. Your wrist, hips, or spinal column are the areas that are at the greatest risk of breaking.
During menopause, your production of the hormone estrogen is reduced. This speeds up osteoporosis. This increases both the importance and complexity of controlling this disease.
What Women Need To Know
Being female puts you at risk of developing osteoporosis and broken bones. Here are some facts:
- Of the estimated 10 million Americans with osteoporosis, about eight million or 80% are women.
- Approximately one in two women over age 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis.
- A womans risk of breaking a hip is equal to her combined risk of breast, uterine and ovarian cancer.
There are multiple reasons why women are more likely to get osteoporosis than men, including:
- Women tend to have smaller, thinner bones than men.
- Estrogen, a hormone in women that protects bones, decreases sharply when women reach menopause, which can cause bone loss. This is why the chance of developing osteoporosis increases as women reach menopause.
Also Check: Relactation After Menopause
Can We Prevent Osteoporosis After Menopause
Menopause can bring on a laundry list of changes and health concerns that, lets just say, no woman in her right mind is too thrilled about.
To top it off, its long been recognized that post-menopausal women are also at higher risk of osteoporosis a condition that causes your bones to weaken and become more prone to fractures, especially in your wrist, spine, and hip.
And although doctors have thought that the loss of estrogen during menopause might be the cause of this osteoporosis link, they really didnt know why until a recent study at Tokyo Medical and Dental University . In fact, the Tokyo scientists not only found the molecular link between estrogen and bone aging but also a clue as to what you can do to prevent it.
How To Take Care Of Bones During And After Menopause
The best way to prevent osteoporosis post menopause is by building up your total bone calcium or bone mass till the age of 35. It will slow down the bone loss process once menopause starts. Here’s how you can do that-
If you see the structure of bone it consists of a base or matrix of protein in which calcium is imbedded as a mineral. So, you must ensure an adequate protein intake along with a good calcium intake of approximately 1000-1200 milligrams a day. Along with the calcium, one must ensure adequate vitamin D consumption too, either by exposure to sunlight or by taking supplements in the right doses. This ensures the ideal raw materials to build bone.
Calcium is an essential part of the diet. Till the age of 50, women should consume 1000 milligrams per day. Beyond the age of 50, the requirement goes up to 1200 milligrams per day and that is what should be targeted much against the myths that calcium causes stones, bloating and weight gain. One should add enough dairy, dark green leafy vegetables and soy products to the diet. Also, keep a check on your vitamin D levels to ensure better absorption of calcium consumed from your diet.
Recommended Reading: Light Headedness And Menopause
Prevalence Of Osteoporotic Fractures
The prevalence of osteoporotic fractures rises from 4% in women at age 50 – 59 to 52% of women age > 80 years . There is a temporal sequence in osteoporotic fractures, the first sign being fractures of the lower end of radius starting at age 50 years, followed by vertebral fractures at age 60-75 years and hip fractures starting in the late 70âs. For a white American woman at age 50, the risk of suffering an osteoporotic fracture in her remaining lifetime has been estimated at 40%, with two thirds of the fractures occurring after age 75.
Treating Osteoporosis In Young Women
Most of the osteoporosis medicines available at this time are not approved by the FDA for use in premenopausal women. But, for women who have taken steroid medicines for a long time, three osteoporosis medicines are approved for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis. In very rare cases, a healthcare provider may recommend that a premenopausal woman consider taking an osteoporosis medicine for other reasons. Examples include when a woman breaks a bone because of low bone density or has severe bone loss due to a medical condition.
Don’t Miss: Tubal Ligation And Early Menopause
Menopause And Bone Loss: Preventing Postmenopausal Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a common problem that causes your bones to become abnormally thin, weakened, and easily broken. Women are more at risk for osteoporosis in general and that risk increases after menopause due to lower levels of estrogen, a hormone that helps maintain bone mass. Here well outline why menopause can cause osteoporosis and tips to prevent the onset of osteoporosis after menopause.
Benefits And Risks Of Estrogen Treatment
If you’re approaching menopause, your body will likely alert you to the sudden drop in estrogen with physical signs and psychological changes . The effect on your bones won’t be as obvious, but the loss of estrogen will certainly affect them. If you have a high risk for osteoporosis and are approaching or have already reached menopause, estrogen replacement therapy may be a good osteoporosis treatment or preventative measure.
Estrogen is a sex hormone that is essential to female bone health because it promotes the activity of osteoblasts, which are cells that produce bone. When estrogen levels drop during menopause, the osteoblasts aren’t able to effectively produce bone.
Estrogen replacement therapy used to be the only FDA-approved treatment to prevent osteoporosis. There are now many other drugs and medications for osteoporosis, but estrogen remains a fairly common treatment to conserve bone mass and prevent osteoporosis-related fractures in post-menopausal women.
Who is a Good Candidate?Estrogen replacement therapy is appropriate for most women, but it should not be used if if you have:
- Breast or uterine cancer
- Poor liver function or liver disease
- A recent history of blood clots
Also, estrogen replacement therapy is not for pre-menopausal women or for men.
How to Use Estrogen Replacement Therapy Depending on what brand of estrogen your doctor recommends, estrogen can be given as a transdermal patch or a pill.
Recommended Reading: How Can A Man Survive Menopause
Preventing Osteoporosis Is Easier When You Stop Smoking Cigarettes
Smoking cigarettes is highly detrimental to the bone density of postmenopausal women. Research suggests that women who smoke after menopause are up to twice as likely to develop osteoporosis as women who dont. The reason behind this detrimental impact isnt entirely clear. Nonetheless, if youre a smoker, you should consider quitting for the sake of your bones as well as your general health.
Of course, quitting smoking can be difficult. Talk to your practitioner about supports available to help you quittoday, there are more options than ever before and you can select the best methods for your individual situation. You may also want to consider alternatives for preventing osteoporosis while youre working on quitting.
Physical Activity Reduces Osteoporosis Risk
Exercising regularly throughout life can reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Doing some type of physical activity on most days of the week for between 30 and 40 minutes is recommended.
Two types of physical activities that are most beneficial to bones are weight-bearing and resistance-training exercises. In addition to reducing bone loss, physical activity will improve muscle strength, balance and fitness, and also reduce the incidence of falls and fractures.
Keep Your Stomach Acid
Many people are on acid blocking drugs, such as Nexium, Protonix, Prevacid, Tagamet, and Zantac, for problems such as heartburn and hiatal hernia. Stomach acid is necessary to absorb minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and zinc. Blocking stomach acid significantly increases the risk of osteoporosis.
These drugs were meant to be used for six to eight weeks at a time, not for years at a time! In fact, most heartburn symptoms are not due to excess stomach acid. Two thirds of the patients on acid blocking agents have too little stomach acid, not too much!