Preventing Osteoporosis During Menopause or After: Paying Attention to Your Diet and Lifestyle
If you’ve managed to make it over the mountain of menopause and all the hot flashes, mood swings, and low energy, the good news is you’ll soon feel better in post-menopause. At such a point, though, your oestrogen and progesterone levels continue to become lower, which can bring on several serious health threats.
Two particularly well-recognised health risks are heart disease and osteoporosis. For the latter, you’ve no doubt heard plenty about the dangers of what it can do to your bones. What’s concerning is you’re still at risk for osteoporosis during menopause. However, it only increases as your oestrogen levels plummet.
While you may know what to do to prevent heart disease, maybe you’re still in the dark about how to prevent osteoporosis. One good way to start is to analyse your lifestyle and see what you may need to change.
Let’s look at what the worst risks are and natural things to do to keep your bones healthy for the rest of your life.
What Kind of Foods and Drinks Are You Consuming?
It’s worth stressing that one of the worst things you can consume for your bone health is soft drinks. If you’re addicted to drinking any carbonated drinks throughout your life, it’s time to stop or cut back now. This even includes drinks like champagne, and sparkling water.
The problem with these drinks is they have phosphates that cause excess calcium loss. Drinking too many colas in a day at any time in your life can put you at higher risk for osteoporosis during menopause or after.
One way to improve this is to simply balance your phosphorus intake with calcium intake. Be sure to get more calcium-rich foods and drinks every day like cheese, yogurt, or milk.
It pays to cut down on caffeine as well since it depletes you of significant calcium levels every time you urinate.
Cutting Out Antacids
You may have thought that you’ve experienced too much stomach acid lately. A lot of heartburn is actually caused by too little rather than too much stomach acid, so taking antacids and “proton pump inhibitors” such as omeprazole compound this problem, interfering with calcium and magnesium absorption.
Your stomach needs some acid to absorb specific minerals like calcium. Removing excess acid from your stomach only prevents you from getting the calcium intake you need in a day.
To counteract this, eat plenty of calcium-rich foods; as well as the obvious dairy products, which many people are intolerant of, don’t forget about vegan calcium sources like unsweetened soya, rice and oat drinks, calcium-set tofu, sesame seeds, tahini, or pulses. Also consider dried fruits like raisins, prunes, figs and dried apricots.
Going Outside for More Sun
Perhaps you have sensitive skin and can’t spend a lot of time in the sun. As a result, it may lead you to stay indoors far too long where sun exposure becomes a rarity.
You shouldn’t do this excessively because it’s a source of Vitamin D, which helps absorb calcium into your bones. During menopause and post-menopause, you need moderate amounts of sun to get the Vitamin D necessary, even if difficult for those living far away from the equator.
It’s easy to get your vitamin D tested and get appropriate supplementation. If you have low levels, take at least 2000 units in summer and 4000 units in winter, with half these doses for maintenance once your levels have returned to normal.
Eliminating Stress and Getting More Exercise
Some people take offence at those who say they should eliminate stress, because it may seem impossible in the times we live in. Still, you can cut down on the effects of stress by doing meditation, or specific exercises.
Remember that stress raises cortisol in your body, ultimately reducing calcium and worsening hormone imbalances. As Huffington Post reminded in a piece on menopause solutions, weight-bearing exercise builds bone tissue back up to lower osteoporosis chances.
In post-menopause, any resistance exercises like climbing stairs, walking, or jogging helps maintain bone density.
Contact us at Doctor Allie’s Vitality Clinics so we can help you take back control of your life and health through the menopausal storm.