How to Maintain Bone Health During Pregnancy?
The changes that occur during menopause affect every body system — physical, mental and emotional — but also strongly impact bone health because these systems all work together as one integrated whole. Menopause is the natural ending of periods that usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55. It's a time when women are more likely to develop specific health problems, including osteoporosis, a condition in which bones become thin and may fracture easily. The drop in oestrogen levels around menopause results in increased bone loss. It is estimated that, on average, women lose up to 10 per cent of their bone mass in the first five years after menopause.
While prevention is best, medical treatments are available for osteoporosis management. The female hormone, oestrogen, plays an essential role in maintaining bone strength. Oestrogen levels drop around menopause, which occurs on average at 50 years, resulting in increased bone loss. If your peak bone mass before menopause is less than ideal, any bone loss that occurs around menopause may result in osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is when bones become weak and brittle, increasing your risk of fractures. It's estimated that up to half of all women will develop osteoporosis by the time they reach their 60s.
What is osteoporosis?
Bone loss can be caused by many factors, including genetics, hormones, the environment and medications taken for other medical conditions. But it's unclear why some people develop osteoporosis more easily than others. One reason might be lifestyle choices — like smoking cigarettes or drinking too much alcohol — that increase your risk of developing osteoporosis because they slow down the building of new bone cells in your body.
Osteoporosis is a condition that occurs when there's less bone tissue. Bone tissue is continually breaking down and rebuilding. As we age, the tissue begins to break down faster than rebuilding can, leaving bones less dense. Osteoporosis occurs when rebuilding has slowed so much that the bones become thin, brittle and prone to fractures. Osteoporosis affects about one in three women over 50 and one in five men over 60. It's a severe health problem that can lead to broken bones and other complications if left untreated or treated unsuccessfully with medication or surgery.
Cause of osteoporosis during menopause:
A loss of bone tissue causes osteoporosis. This means that older adults, in particular, are at increased risk for osteoporosis from the day they're born until their last day on earth. In addition, women are more likely to experience osteoporosis than men because of the hormonal changes associated with menopause. In addition to these physical changes, women tend to have more calcium in their bones than men.
This is because women have a higher proportion of body fat than men, which increases the amount of estrogen in their bodies. Estrogen stimulates bone formation and helps maintain healthy bone density as we age. While hormonal shifts primarily cause osteoporosis during menopause, it also occurs because of lifestyle choices such as smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol excessively or taking certain prescription medications that may decrease bone density.
Osteoporosis can be caused by several factors, including menopause, pregnancy, use of certain medications, or a family history of osteoporosis. It is essential to recognize that osteoporosis does not develop overnight. If you have been diagnosed with osteoporosis and are concerned about your health, talk with your doctor about osteoporosis treatment options that may help you manage the condition better.
Tips to reduce the risk of osteoporosis in menopause:
Include some intense exercise sessions, at least for 30 minutes, in your daily life. It helps maintain bone density and strengthens your muscles. Your exercise routine shall include jogging, stair climbing, aerobics, or any other form involving feet stomping. Exercise helps your bone to create stronger and denser cells. If harder exercises are causing joint pains, then go for lighter forms of exercise like walking, swimming laps, elliptical machine, rowing, etc. If you are not a gym person, you can go for Yoga, Tai chi, or even some casual stretching early in the morning.
Eat a calcium-rich diet:
We all are well aware of the benefits of calcium for your muscles and bones. However, if your body lacks calcium, it might also steal calcium from your bones and teeth. Lack of calcium can cause osteoporosis in peri and post-menopausal phases. Aim for at least 1300 mg of dietary calcium intake every day. The primary source of calcium-enriched food is dairy products; also, you can eat green leafy vegetables like kale, watercress etc. In addition, soy food, broccoli, orange, figs, salmon, sardine, beans, and Bok choy are also essential sources of calcium. Few products like cheese also consist of calcium but ensure that you have these fatty foods in modified portions. You can also take plant-based supplements like andMe’s joint care tablets. This joint care supplement is 100% vegan and chemical-free; it helps reduce muscle stiffness and increases mobility of the joints.
Quit smoking and drinking alcohol:
Smoking cigarettes weakens bones by damaging collagen fibres within the bone, increasing the fracture risk. Alcohol interferes with how bones are formed during childhood, so adults with osteoporosis need to avoid drinking too much alcohol.