At menopause many women do start to experience osteopenia or the more serious condition of osteoporosis where bones become brittle and break.
Osteoporosis affects over 3 million people in the UK. More than 500,000 people receive hospital treatment for fragility fracture and unfortunately there are no warning signs until a bone actually breaks.
There are many things that affect our bone health and stability, so here are a few you may not be aware of.
1. Having too much salt
The more salt you eat, the more calcium your body gets rid of, which means it’s not there to help your bones. Foods like breads, cheeses, crisps, and processed meats have some of the highest counts.
You don’t have to cut salt out entirely, but aim for less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day.
2. Binge watching hurts your bones
It’s fine to enjoy your favourite shows, but it’s too easy to spend endless hours in front a screen, nestled on your couch. When it becomes a habit you don’t move enough and your bones miss out.
Exercise makes bones stronger and it’s best for them when your feet and legs carry the weight of your body, which forces your bones and muscles to work against gravity.
3. Bike rides don’t help bones
When you pedal for hours your heart and lungs get stronger. Your bones? Not so much because it’s not a weight-bearing activity, bike riding does not increase your bone density, unlike walks, runs, and hikes.
If you’re an avid cyclist, you’ll want to add some time in the weight room to your routine and mix it up with activities like tennis, hiking, dancing, and swimming as the water’s resistance helps your bones.
4. Staying indoors too much
The body makes vitamin D in sunlight and just 10-15 minutes several times a week could do it and you will benefit in other ways just from being out of the house. B
Be sensible about sun exposure as it can raise your risk of skin cancer and there are some other catches, too as your age, skin colour, the time of year, and where you live can make it harder to make vitamin D – and ironically, so can sunscreen.
Add fortified cereals, juices, and milk (including almond, soy, rice, or other plant-based ones), and low-fat dairy to your diet.
5. Another round of drinks
When you’re out with friends, one more round might sound like fun. but to keep bone loss in check, you should limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
No more than one drink a day for women and two for men is recommended. as alcohol can interfere with how your body absorbs calcium.
6. Soft drinks can be a problem
Too many cola-flavored drinks could harm your bones. While more research is needed, some studies have linked bone loss with both the caffeine and the phosphorous in these drinks.
Too many cups of coffee or tea can also rob your bones of calcium.
7. Wheat bran and calcium
What sounds healthier than 100% wheat bran? But when you eat it with milk, your body absorbs less calcium so may be time for a change?
Don’t worry about other foods, like bread, that might contain wheat bran but . But if you’re a fan of the concentrated stuff and you take a calcium supplement, allow at least 2 hours between the bran and your pill.
When you regularly inhale cigarette smoke, your body can’t form new healthy bone tissue as easily. The longer you smoke, the worse it gets.
Smokers have a greater chance of bone breaks and take longer to heal. But if you quit, you can lower these risks and improve your bone health, though it might take several years.
9. Check your prescription
Some medications, especially if you have to take them for a long time, can have a negative impact on your bones.
Some anti-seizure drugs and glucocorticoids, like prednisone and cortisone, can cause bone loss. You might take anti-inflammatory drugs like glucocorticoids if you have conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, asthma, and Crohn’s disease.
Check with your doctor or pharmacist to see whether your medication could be affecting your bones.
10. Being underweight
Not usually a problem at menopause, but a low body weight, a BMI of 18.5 or less, means a greater chance of fracture and bone loss.
If you’re small-boned, do weight-bearing exercises and check your diet to help improve your bones and if needed take a specialist Osteoporosis Supplement as well. a
Because there are no warning signs, it can be difficult to see if you are vulnerable to osteoporosis but if you have any family history of it then your doctor can do a bone scan to check your risk.
A healthy diet, weight bearing exercise and a specialist Osteoporosis Supplement can all help, but what you really need is good hormone balance. Two hormones are needed for good bones: oestrogen to clear away old bone and progesterone to build new bone. If you have too much oestrogen and not enough progesterone then that balance is affected, and your bones can be more vulnerable.
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