Osteoporosis is common in the menopausal age-group due to the deficiency of the estrogen hormone. A lot of women don’t think about their bone’s health. And, if you neglect your bones and, once, you’re in the post-menopausal phase, you are a lot more vulnerable to any kind of fracture. During the menopausal age-group, females are prone to osteoporosis. Its prominent reason is the fall in estrogen levels, as the hormone estrogen has a protective effect on bones and it helps to slow down the natural process of the breakage of the bone. So, when your estrogen starts to fall, your bones are less supported, with the things that they need, as you go through the menopause.
So, you need to take care of your bones during menopause. And, if you are wondering how to care for your bones, read on to find the solutions for good bone health.
- Eat Foods That Promote Bone Health:
The first thing to prevent and manage osteoporosis is to eat a well-balanced diet. So, let’s have a look at the nutrients which are important for bone health.
- Calcium: The rich sources of calcium foods are dairy, dairy products, green leafy vegetables, tofu, nuts, and more. The important thing here again is that, if you have dairy which is rich in calcium and low in magnesium, you need to take care of dietary magnesium requirement of your body too as calcium and magnesium both need each other for bone health. So, make sure if you have dairy, you need to have magnesium-rich foods too.
- Magnesium: Seeds, grains, pulses, nuts, lentils, quinoa, buckwheat, oats, and barley are abundant in magnesium.
- Vitamin D: The prime & natural source of Vitamin D is sunlight. So, make sure you go in the early morning sunlight before 8 am and after 5.30 pm so that your skin produces enough amount of Vitamin D. Not many foods contain vitamin D, this is why everybody should go out in the early morning sunlight regularly. In a small amount, Vitamin D is present in mushrooms.
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So, putting these into your diet will go a long way to help to support your bone health.
- Have Calcium Supplements:
At Life Force, we routinely advise our patients, who are around 45 years of age and above 45 years, to take calcium supplements. But, along with the supplement, we advise to follow a diet comprising good amounts of calcium and vitamin D. Often, many patients ask us, “Doctor, can I just take a supplement?”. There is nothing wrong with the supplement, but it is always good for your body and bones to have sufficient nutrients from your food rather than just having a pill.
- Support Your Digestion:
In some females, due to estrogen deficiency in menopausal age, they may suffer from digestive issues for which they do take proton pump inhibitor (PPI), which interferes with the calcium and magnesium absorption. So, here one can think of Homeopathy for a natural relief in your digestive issues so that calcium and magnesium can be absorbed properly.
- Exercise Regularly:
No matter what your age is, regular exercise will help to minimize your bone loss. Exercise regularly. At least 15 minutes brisk walk daily will help you to keep your bone strong and healthy. Exercises, such as walking, cycling, swimming, and dancing, can also help you maintain good bone health.
- Manage Stress:
It seems strange to link stress and bone health. But, yes, stress affects your bones. Stress releases some acidic chemicals and a stress hormone, Cortisol, which inhibits bone-building osteoblasts, speed ups bone loss, and inhibits calcium absorption. So, learn to manage your stress.
- Avoid Certain Foods:
Some foods are detrimental to bone health, the first of which is caffeine which speeds up calcium loss. Also, avoid eating high salt foods, as they will impact on your bones.
- Shun Unhealthy Habits:
Avoid the intake of alcohol, and quit smoking. Alcohol inhibits calcium absorption and reduces serum blood levels of calcium. Smoking and chewing tobacco orally can lead to early menopause because of estrogen deficiency, and it causes osteoporosis.
- Avoid Using Steroidal Drugs:
Steroids decrease serum calcium levels, so avoid taking steroidal medications in the long run.
So, managing your stress levels, taking enough nutrients, balancing your hormones, supporting your digestion, exercising, and avoiding certain foods and medicines will help to keep your bones healthy.
Certainly, try these out things to prevent osteoporosis, to slow down the process of osteoporosis, and protect you from fractures.
- Written by Dr. Mithila Kargar, Associate doctor to Dr. Rajesh Shah, MD (Hom)