Osteoporosis

One of the major side effects of menopause can be osteoporosis

- a serious health concern that can have an impact on a woman’s physical health causing chronic pain and broken bones.

Osteoporosis - Menopause

What is Osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis (meaning porous bone) is a skeletal disease characterised by weakened bones and increased risk of bone fractures.

Bones are in a constant state of renewal but the process is regulated – among other things – by estrogen and vitamin D3. It’s a condition that’s inextricably linked to our hormones because menopausal estrogen decline mean its role in the turnover of bone is impaired. This culminates in bone loss and low bone mineral density.

The prevalence of osteoporosis is on the increase and affects more than half of women over 60. We lose bone mass two to four times faster after menopause – 10 percent of it in the first five years of post-menopause.

Osteoporosis can also be linked to issues with your gums and teeth such as bone loss post-menopause.

What can you do to help prevent this symptom?

Osteoporosis is believed to run in families and is a ‘silent disease’ so you may not know you have it. Women are far more likely to get osteoporosis than men and growing older is a risk factor. There are some steps you can take to help minimise your risk and the severity of the condition whether or not you have genetic links.

  1. Get a bone density (DEXA) scan.
  2. Partake in weight bearing exercise: walking, jogging, tennis.
  3. Resistance training with weights helps build bone strength.
  4. Ensure your calcium, magnesium and vitamin D levels are adequate.
  5. Magnesium helps the body absorb both calcium and vitamin D.
  6. Eat a diet rich in protein, vitamins C, D, K, calcium, magnesium and zinc.
  7. Foods high in calcium include seeds, almonds, tofu, soy milk, figs, edamame, kale, broccoli, sweet potato, sardines, salmon and if you can tolerate dairy and lactose cheese, milk and yoghurt.
  8. Avoid caffeine, salt and alcohol as it inhibits calcium absorption.
  9. If you smoke stop.
  10. Take 55+ as it contains EstroG-100™ for hormone balance and the added support of magnesium and vitamin D3.
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Post-menopause


This is the time when menstruation is well and truly over, the ovaries have stopped producing high levels of sex hormones and for many ladies, perimenopause symptoms subside.

Estrogen has protective qualities and the diminished levels mean organs such as your brain, heart and bones become more vulnerable. It’s also a key lubricant so your lips may become drier, your joints less supple and your vagina might be drier. In addition, your thyroid, digestion, insulin, cortisol and weight may alter.

At this juncture, a woman might experience an increase in the signs of reduced estrogen but she should have a decrease of perimenopause symptoms. That said, some women will experience symptoms like hot flushes for years or even the rest of their lives.

Perimenopause

Peri = ‘near’

Most females begin to experience the symptoms of perimenopause in their mid-forties. Your progesterone levels decline from your mid-30s but it’s generally from around 40 that the rest of your sex hormones begin to follow suit. 

Perimenopause is a different experience for every woman and some women may barely notice it. The first indicators are usually changes to the monthly cycle. This means that for some ladies, this can be accompanied by things like sore breasts, mood swings, weight gain around the belly, and fatigue as time goes on.

For those with symptoms it can be a challenging time physically, mentally and emotionally.

Importantly, perimenopause lasts – on average – four to 10 years. The transition is usually a gradual process and many women enter perimenopause without realising.