Bone loss isn’t something that usually comes to mind when we think of menopause, but it can be a real pain in the bones.
As you approach menopause, your estrogen levels drop, affecting your bone density. This loss of bone density can likely cause osteoporosis, break bones, and have other problems with their bones.
Thus, estrogen is very important for maintaining bone density because it keeps the balance between cells that build bone (osteoblasts) and cells that break bone (osteoclasts).
So, today let’s talk about the different ways to prevent bone loss that will make you feel like a bionic woman in no time.
These tips, which include changes to your diet and exercise routines, are meant to strengthen your bones and make you feel like you can take on the world without worrying about breaking a bone.
1. Calcium Rich Diet
One of the best ways to stop bone loss during menopause is to make sure you eat a calcium-rich diet.
Calcium is an important mineral that helps your body build and keep strong bones. For women over 50, the recommended daily amount of calcium is 1,200 mg.
To meet this requirement, eat foods that are high in calcium every day, like milk, cheese, yogurt, and leafy green vegetables like kale and broccoli.
You can also get calcium from orange juice and cereal. If you can’t get enough calcium from your diet alone, you might want to talk to your doctor about taking a calcium supplement.
2. Vitamin D intake
Vitamin D is also important for keeping bones healthy during and after menopause. It helps your body use the calcium in the food you eat and helps your bones grow in the right way.
Your body makes less vitamin D as you get older, so it’s important to make sure you get enough of this nutrient through food and supplements.
Vitamin D-rich foods include fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and tuna, dairy products with added vitamin D, and egg yolks.
Sunlight is another way to get vitamin D, but the amount of time you need to spend in the sun depends on things like your skin type, where you live, and the time of year.
Talk to your doctor about how much vitamin D you need and if you should take a supplement.
READ ALSO: 5 Top Foods to Deal With Menopause Symptoms
3. Regular Exercise
Regular exercise is another important way to stop bone loss during menopause. Weight-bearing exercises like walking, running, dancing, and strength training help build bones and stop them from breaking down.
Try to exercise for at least 30 minutes at a moderate level most days of the week.
In addition to weight-bearing exercises, you might also want to try yoga or tai chi to improve your balance and flexibility.
These activities can help you improve your posture, coordination, and balance, making you less likely to trip and break something.
4. Eat a Balanced Diet
A balanced diet with a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats is important for overall health and well-being, including bone health.
For healthy bones, your body needs more than just calcium and vitamin D. It also needs magnesium, potassium, and vitamin K.
Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables, a quarter with whole grains, and a quarter with lean protein sources like fish, poultry, or beans to ensure you get a variety of nutrients.
Limit your intake of processed foods, which can be high in sodium and added sugars while being low in essential nutrients.
5. Limit Alcohol and Caffeine
Too much alcohol and caffeine can be bad for bone health. Alcohol can make it harder for your body to absorb calcium and can also throw off the balance between cells that build and break down bone.
Caffeine can also make it harder for your body to absorb calcium, which can lead to bone loss.
For women over 50, you should try to drink no more than one drink per day to protect your bones. In the same way, try not to drink more than two or three cups of coffee or other caffeinated drinks per day.
Instead, drink water, herbal tea, or other drinks without caffeine to keep your bones healthy and hydrated.
READ ALSO: 20 Foods to Eat (or Avoid) During Menopause
6. Quit Smoking
Smoking is another lifestyle factor that can play a big role in bone loss after menopause.
Studies have shown that women who smoke have less bone density and are more likely to break bones than women who don’t smoke.
Chemicals in cigarettes can make it hard for your body to absorb calcium and stop bone cells from working normally.
If you stop smoking, your overall health will improve and you will be less likely to lose bones.
If you’re having trouble quitting, you might want to talk to your healthcare provider about tools and resources to help you quit.
7. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
Some women may want to think about hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to stop bone loss caused by menopause.
With HRT, you take medication with estrogen and, in some cases, progesterone to replace the hormones your body stops making after menopause. This therapy can help stop bone loss and make you less likely to break a bone.
However, HRT also comes with certain risks, such as an increased risk of blood clots, stroke, and certain cancers.
It’s essential to discuss the potential benefits and risks of HRT with your healthcare provider to determine if it’s an appropriate option for you.
8. Regular Bone Density Testing
A regular bone density test is another important way to stop bone loss during menopause. Bone density tests can help you find bone loss early so you can take steps to stop it from getting worse.
Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans are the most common way to test bone density. These scans use low levels of radiation to measure bone density.
The National Osteoporosis Foundation says that every two years, women over 65 should get their bone density checked.
But if you have other risk factors for osteoporosis, like a family history of the disease, a history of fractures, or certain medical conditions, your doctor may suggest that you get tested sooner or more often.
Loss of bone mass during menopause is common and can have serious effects on health. But if you take steps to stop bone loss, you can keep your bones strong and cut your risk of fractures and other problems.
For overall health and well-being, it’s also important to have other healthy habits, like getting enough sleep, dealing with stress, and not smoking.
Always keep in mind that menopause is a natural part of life, but that doesn’t mean we have to let it take our strong bones down with it.
Say goodbye to bone loss and hello to a new chapter of bone-afide awesomeness!