Menopause and Osteoporosis – Are you looking after your bones?

Are you aware of your bone health?

Is there a history of Osteoporosis in your family?

Dropping levels of oestrogen is one of the effects of menopause that causes the thinning of bones.

Due to the falling oestrogen levels,  women’s bones become thin and weaken and may be at risk from osteoporosis,  Post menopause women need to be aware and vigilant of their bone health to protect themselves from any fractures.  By making some changes to lifestyle in the form of exercise, diet and hrt you can make a difference to maintaning your bone health, supporting you during menopause and post menopause.

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It is important to remain as active as much as you can.

As we age our bones become thinner and weaker.  Being active and exercising this will help your bones to remain strong and healthy. 

  • Exercise.
  • Diet. 
  • Vitamin D. 
  • HRT.

Try to maintain a low body weight, this can be hard during perimenopausae and menopause as you may experience fatigue, bloating, weight gain and have no energy.  The last thing you want to do is exercise, but this will help you to feel better and maintain your weight. Try walking each day, or taking the stairs, walking to work where you can as possible.  A home dvd workout, a you tube exercise video, try a class – go along with a friend for support. Why not enter a sponsored race/walk event?

Start with some small steps with one form of exercise, this could be  a 15 minute walk and increase the time and distance each day.

Smoking, we know is not good for our health and it is not helpful with keeping our bones healthy, if possible do not smoke as this affects your bone tissue.

As much we love having the odd G&T or a glass of our favourite wine, it is now the time to drink in moderation.  Alcohol can affect bone health, our overall health and if we drink too much we are inclined to fall over and have an accident.  We have all been there a few times!! But as we age, in particular post menopause it can cause problems if you have weak bones or osteoporosis.

If you are concerned about your bone health and if you have experienced an early menopause before the age of 45 or a hysterectomy talk to your Gp to ask if you may have a DEXA scan to measure your bone density.

You can ask for supplements from your GP, chemist to help build calcium for your bone health.

Nutrition through your diet can also help to ensure your providing your bones with the correct vitamins, minerals needed to keep bone tissue healthy and strong.

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Incorporate into your diet the following:

  • fresh fruit,
  • vegetables – green leafy vegetables – broccoli
  • baked beans
  • dried fruit
  • bottled mineral water
  • soya beans
  • sardines
  • salmon
  • herrings
  • tuna
  • nuts
  • dried beans
  • sunflower seeds.
  • milk
  • dairy products,  mik- cheese- yoghurt
  • fish liver oils
  • eatwellguide at www.nhs.uk
  • Source : Royal Society Osteoporosis
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Vitamin D is a great source for building bones and a general sense of well being.  We all love the sunshine!! 20 minutes a day is needed to help you ensure you are providing your body with the correct amount of vitamin D for your bone tissue. Try and walk when the sun is shining, there is no better feeling in the world than walking in the sunshine. 

You will be keeping active and gaining vitamin D. 

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Exercise is so important on so many levels, it helps to alleviate menopause symptoms.  The endorphins from exercise make you feel fantastic and you’re also looking after your body and health at the same time.

It becomes even more important at this stage of post-menopause as you need to exercise to keep your bones strong and healthy.  Important for your balance and coordination to keep you strong and alert.

Find a form of exercise that invigorates you, makes you feel good and most importantly that you enjoy!

  • walking
  • aerobics
  • dance
  • gym workout
  • weights
  • jogging
  • tennis
  • badminton
  • squash
  • cycling
  • swimming
  • yoga
  • pilates

Try and add into your exercise regime some weight bearing exercises.  Bones need to be used to enable the bones to become stronger and flexible. This is important for bones, for example a body weight press up or some star jumps.

Once your bones become stronger the muscles will pull on the bones.  The bones are receiving a kind of workout, as you get stronger you will then pull harder making the bones strengthen.  If you workout from home or at the gym, use a resistance band or weights to help build the muscle and bone strength.

  • walking – brisk, marching, stair climbing, stamping – low impact
  • jogging, running, team racket sports, low level jumping, highland dancing, dancing – moderate
  • basketball, volleyball, track events, star jumps, tuck jumps, high level jumps. high impact
  • source Royal Society of Osteoporosis charity
  • For  more help and information visit the website for the Royal Society of Osteoporosis www.theros.org.uk 

HRT is also used to treat women for osteoporosis to help build bone strength, reduces bone loss and restores calcium. Speak to your Gp if you need more information and guidance. 

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This weeks Real life Meno 60 seconds interview is Ann Stephens, Co-Founder of Positivepause with fellow Co-Founder Jo McEwan. Read Ann’s interview, her personal perimenopause journey and how PositivePause was created.

Ann_headshot.jpg
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  1. Best part  of Menopause?  I’m 57 and technically still perimenopausal. Fingers crossed, potentially next summer I’ll have my menopause party! Since setting up PositivePause with co-founder Jo, I’ve met some incredible people, all sharing knowledge, experience and expertise to help other women be prepared and feel supported in what potentially is a very perplexing phase.

2) Tell us your best #Menomoment?

After 18 months of research and planning, to press publish and launch our website on World menopause Day 2017, and within 3 months being invited on BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour feature on menopause.

3) What has been the worst part of your Menopause?

Not understanding that my anxiety, loss of confidence, brain fog, tearfulness and mood swings were due to perimenopausal hormone changes, and that I wasn’t going bonkers!

4) Have you taken the NHS or Private Health route to treat your menopause?

Neither. Setting up our website meant I did a huge amount of research. Needless to say I focused a lot on the psychological side. The more I understood how simple lifestyle changes could improve my moods and self-confidence the better I felt. I began exercising more, changed what and when I ate, and knew when I had to say no. I took charge of my health.

5)Have you been supported within your workplace?

I’ve been self-employed for 20 years. Before I understood that I was perimenopausal, I declined certain work as I was too anxious to cope. When I was at my worst I also had a job share teaching interior design, most of the staff were much younger, single, on dating apps, about to get married or have kids. Menopause was not something I thought they’d have any empathy with. Once I told them about the website we were developing, I became far more open and unabashed about discussing the topic. They’re now more aware of what to anticipate and know a great website to get the best info!

6) HRT or natural/alternative treatment for Menopause?

Natural. I take omega-3 fish oil supplements and vitamin D oral spray in the winter months. I’m not on HRT and I’m not against it. I know the wonders it’s done for so many women. Once I understood why I was experiencing my symptoms, I felt more in control. If I’d had the physical symptoms of hot flushes or vaginal dryness I would certainly take HRT.

7) What advice would you give to a younger you prior to Perimenopause and Menopause?

Knowledge is power. Get clued up, don’t bury your head in the sand, menopause will come your way and it may not be what you anticipated. Understand what perimenopause is and be prepared so you know what options you have to manage your individual symptoms. Take control, if you’re not happy, talk to someone about it and don’t be embarrassed, it’s natural and  you’re not alone.

8)Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?

Happier and healthier than I was in my late 40’s and early 50’s.

9)Who would you like to give a shout out – mention too? Who has been supportive and instrumental in helping you through menopause?

I have huge respect for Dr Karen Morton. I was given her contact by a friend and she was so supportive when we were setting up our website. She’s since spoken at several of our events. She’s such an awesome woman, with so much drive, energy, passion, knowledge and understanding. I also have to mention my husband, who was at a loss to know what to do or say when I was at my worst. Once he understood why I’d turned into loose cannon of emotions, he’s become one of our greatest advocates.

10)Who is your favourite #Menowarrior?

There are so many, although Harriet Beveridge manages to make a miserable topic a laugh a minute. We saw her stand-up act, menoPAUSE, in Edinburgh and following that we invited her to MC and perform her act at both our PositivePause Feelgood Fairs. I could empathise with her experience, she’s a bright educated and articulate woman who was also clueless about perimenopause. She turned her story into comedy, and we created a website. Our messages are the same – be prepared for perimenopause.

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Thank you Ann, for your story, looking forward to hearing about your menopause party!

Jo and Ann have created a fantastic website to help women be guided through the stages of menopause with helpful, positive and fun information. 

The PositivePause ladies can be found at their fabulous website

www.positivepause.co.uk and via social media. 

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Remember to treat yourselves with kindness and pay attention to what your body is trying to tell you.  There is only one of you, you are important!!

Make that time this week to relax, pamper and put yourself first.  You may take some advice from our real life meno 60 seconds interview Ann Stephens, or use some of the tips on how to ensure you look after your bone health and be more informed about osteoporosis.

This wednesday is  #StressAwarenessDay

How will you put into practice self care and making time for you?

We have some exciting articles to share with you, keep posted for new blogs.

Have a super week Menos, keep smiling and stay positive!

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