Written by Jakob van Vlijmen (chiropractor)
Menopause is challenging enough as it is with its hot flushes, night sweats and mood swings. However there is another problem caused by menopause, one we cant see or feel but one that certainly needs addressing. Which is osteoporosis.
Bones need calcium to remain strong and healthy, however with osteoporosis the bone density changes because the bones lose calcium and other minerals. Before the menopause the hormones oestrogen and progesterone play an important role in the protection of bone density these hormones are produced in far less quantity after the menopause however and this can have a detrimental effect on the density of your bones.
Osteoporosis itself doesn’t have any symptoms and can therefore be difficult to detect in the early stages. However, as your bones get weaker your are more likely to fracture them after a fall. In later stages your vertebra can collapse causing you to shrink and stoop possibly leading to nerve entrapment. This is why its important to start early with doing what you can to minimise the risk. Here are some tips.
Calcium strengthens the bones and we have been told that diary products contain the necesserary calcium. However, more and more studies conclude that diary products do not help maintain your bone density. One study in Sweden in which over 64.000 women participated showed that those who drank a lot of milk where at an equal risk of breaking a bone than those who did not.
There are even studies that claim drinking milk increases the chance of fractures ! What the actual effect of milk is on our boones remains unclear for now, but much research is being done in this field so we will have the answer shortly. In the interrim it is interesting to note there are many other prodcuts that also contain calcium such as Curly Kale, legumes, nuts and seeds so be sure to use some of these other sources of calcium as well !