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7 Tips for Better Bones During Menopause
From the Menopause and Hormones Articles List
Are there any tips I can follow to maintain healthy bones during menopause?
brings many changes to your body – even to your bones. Sadly many women don’t realize there’s an issue with their bones until a minor fall results in a trip to the emergency room for a broken bone.
Thankfully, you do have options. The stronger your bones are going into menopause the better, but you can still make positive changes during menopause.
Change your diet
When you think of foods with calcium, you probably think of milk, yogurt, and cheese. Even ice cream. But did you know there are lots of other calcium-rich foods? Try adding these to your diet:
- green leafy veggies–think broccoli, kale, bok choy, and collard greens
- fish–like salmon and sardines
- legumes, especially white beans and black eyed peas
- oranges and calcium-fortified orange juice
- oatmeal and fortified cereal including Raisin Bran, Cheerios, Total, and Corn Flakes
- Soy products and tofu
- Enriched bread and grains
Skip the salt, caffeine, and alcohol
Just like there are foods that can add calcium to your body, there are others that can rob it from your bones. Caffeine and salt are two of those culprits, and alcohol can prevent your body from absorbing calcium. Salt can sneak into a number of food–especially if they come in a package or can. And don’t forget, caffeine is a staple in chocolate, sodas, and high energy drinks. As you reassess your diet, cut back on canned and processed foods, soda, coffee, tea, wine, and beer.
You might think that exercise
is dangerous for brittle bones, but the opposite is true. While you’ll need to be careful, regular exercise can help strengthen your bones, improve your balance, and even prevent falls. Your doctor or physical therapist can help you create an exercise plan that is safe and includes a variety of weight-bearing, resistance, and flexibility exercises. Some examples include:
- Walking, dancing, hiking, tennis, and golfing as weight-bearing options.
- Resistance exercising that will strengthen your muscles are those that use weights, bands, or water to provide resistance.
- You can become more flexible with yoga, stretching, and Tai chi.
Get out in the sunshine
Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, is important for healthy bones. It let’s your body absorb and process calcium better, making your bones stronger. Because you need to absorb the sun through bare skin but too much sun can put you at risk for skin cancer, ask your doctor how often you should head out into the sunshine without sunscreen. You’ll have to balance the health of your bones with your skin cancer risks. As an added bonus–sunshine also promotes production of serotonin, the feel good chemical, which can help with menopause-related mood issues.
When you are stressed, your body produces cortisol to help you cope. Unfortunately, this hormone can weaken your bones. So if you’ve been living with consistent stress, your bones can suffer. Depending on what’s causing your stress, you have a number of options. Exercise, good sleeping habits, and a healthy diet
are good places to start. You can also work with a counselor, practice relaxation techniques, spend time with friends, and learn to recognize your stress triggers early so you can nip them in the bud.
Consider HRTHormone replacement therapy (HRT)
is for more than hot flashes
. It helps your bones, too. Estrogen
works with cells to promote bone growth, so when estrogen decreases with menopause, bones weaken, too. HRT can be used to both prevent and treat menopause-related osteoporosis
, slowing down bone loss and helping you regain bone density.
Add a supplement
Supplements are an option for adding calcium, but they do come with challenges. If too much builds up in your system, you can end up with painful kidney stones. There’s also some talk that they may pose a risk for a heart attack. Since your body may not absorb a calcium supplement well, you may also need to add magnesium and be sure you are getting the above mentioned vitamin D – both help your body absorb calcium.
This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.
05-10-2016 - 07:46 PM
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