Known as the ‘silent disease’, it’s going on in a skeleton near you. Yes, your own skeleton! Even those of us who think we’re breezing through menopause without any obvious symptoms need to be aware of the risks, otherwise we face a brittle future of fractures and falls.
“Dem Dry Bones” we sang about back in junior school are clattering towards us. The sneaky, sapping of bone strength and density isn’t something that we see, or feel until there’s a problem.
Bone building goes on until our early thirties and oestrogen plays a major role in supporting and maintaining this development. That means our risk of developing osteoporosis (fragile bones that break relatively easily after a simple fall) increases as oestrogen levels drop. Factor in age, genetics, low body weight, underlying health conditions and race (black women are at lower risk than white or Asian women due to the size and strength of their bones) and yep, menopause leaves bones high and dry. Around 1 in 3 women will develop osteoporosis, with 40% going on to experience a fracture. Our 21st century diets, and sedentary lifestyles don’t help either.
And the good news is….
Whilst the odds are stacked against us with the hormone hand we’ve been dealt, there are a number of diet and lifestyle changes we can make to help improve bone health.
The best ways to prevent osteoporosis
You can’t change the fact that you’re a perimenopausal or menopausal woman! But you can get clued up on how to strengthen bones, be more flexible and prevent fractures.