Caring for your bones in menopause?

How can we care for our bones in menopause? In women, the decline of general bone health speeds up once their regular menstrual periods stop with the menopause, due to the decline in the hormone oestrogen. Osteoporosis is the process that describes the thinning of the bones, causing them to become less dense and strong. As a result, the bones are more fragile and liable to break. One in three women over 50 years will suffer from a fragility fracture. One in six women will fracture a hip and of these 20% will die within one month, 30% will die within one year and 50% will not be able to live independently. It is so important to be aware of your bone health.

How to keep your bones healthy using lifestyle?

Diet: Eating a balanced, healthy diet. This includes consuming calcium in food products such as milk, yogurt, cheddar cheese, brazil nuts, tinned salmon, tofu and leafy green vegetables. 1200mg calcium a day is required for post menopausal women and 700mg a day for pre-menopausal women. Are you eating enough calcium? Click this link to find out. Topping up on Vitamin D levels: Vitamin D is absorbed through the skin when it’s exposed to sunlight, in combination with certain foods in the diet such as fish, eggs and fortified foods – for example cereal. It is also recommended to take a Vitamin D supplement, 1000iu a day. Weight bearing exercise, these are activities that put weight through your feet and legs like brisk walking, running and aerobics. 30 minutes on most days, has been shown to help maintain bone mineral density. The benefits of lifting heavy weights are definitely seen in midlife to avoid muscle wasting and help with metabolism and bone strength. Stopping smoking and reducing alcohol is important. This link takes you to a website to explain more. Any postmenopausal woman over the age of 50 years, who has a clinical risk factor for osteoporosis needs a FRAX score. We can do this for you at your appointment, if necessary.

What are the risk factors for osteoporosis?

This is the NICE guidance which shows what the risk factors are for osteoporosis and who should be assessed for fragility fracture risk. If you have these risk factors please let us know. We will assess using a FRAX score.

A FRAX score?

The FRAX score gives us a 10 year risk of hip and major osteoporotic fracture, and links to the National Osteoporosis Guideline Group (NOGG) which advises further action. This could be with either life style advice, and reassessment in 5 years or sooner; to arrange a bone scan or to start treatment for osteoporosis, without the need for a bone scan.

Premature Ovarian Insufficiency or Early Surgical Menopause?

If you have had Premature Ovarian Insufficiency or an Early Surgical Menopause we recommend taking HRT to protect your bones and heart.

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