A woman goes through an incredible amount of change when she transitions through menopause, and among the more serious consequences are bone loss and osteoporosis. These consequences are quite common — one out of three women over the age of 50 has either bone loss or osteoporosis.
Since May is Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month in the United States, the team of women’s health experts here at Bay Area Physicians for Women’s Health is focusing on bone loss and menopause. More specifically, we offer five steps that you can take to offset bone loss as you make your way through menopause and beyond.
Since bone loss affects women far more than men (only one in 20 men get osteoporosis), it’s a good idea to have a team of women’s health experts to help you navigate life after menopause.
Our team understands what you’re up against and ensures you have the tools you need to fight bone loss. For example, we can start with bone density testing to see what we’re up against. From there, we design a bone loss prevention program that meets your specific needs, goals, and lifestyle.
The rapid loss of bone that often occurs in women after age 50 is largely caused by the sudden drop in estrogen hormones. One of the ways to combat this side effect of menopause, along with others, is to replace the lost hormones.
Through hormone replacement therapy, we can increase your levels of estrogen to fight back against bone loss.
Your bones constantly remodel themselves based on necessity. For example, if you’re active, your body understands that your bones need to keep up, so your body signals your bones’ cells to keep turning over.
A great way to slow or prevent bone loss is to engage in concussive activities, such as walking or running, to literally pound the message to your body that it needs to rebuild bone.
The two most important nutrients that support bone health are calcium and vitamin D. After age 50, we encourage you to ensure that you're getting enough of these vitamins and minerals — 1,200 milligrams of calcium and 600 international units of vitamin D. You can get calcium through dairy products and leafy greens and you should get some sun to get your vitamin D.
If you fall short through natural methods, you can take calcium and vitamin D supplements.
Tipping the scales too far in either direction — being overweight or underweight — can lead to bone loss. After the age of 50, it’s more important than ever to maintain a healthy weight with a body mass index between 18.5 and 24.9.
Though some bone loss after the age of 50 may be inevitable, there are ways to slow the progression and even avoid full blown osteoporosis.
To figure out which bone loss prevention plan is best for you, please contact our office in Mobile, Alabama, to set up an appointment.