Menopause, Osteoporosis and You

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(NC)-It is a known fact that postmenopausal women are more likely to have osteoporosis and therefore are at higher risk of breaking their wrists, hips and backbones. This is because at menopause, a woman's estrogen level falls dramatically, and she usually loses bone more quickly. During the first five years after menopause, a woman loses 3 to 5 per cent of her bone mass a year. After five years, she loses between 1 to 2 per cent of bone mass yearly.

To date, no single cause for osteoporosis has been identified. However, certain risk factors do seem to play a role in the development of this potentially debilitating disease, and some of these include:

  • Age - the risk of fracture increases with age
  • Family history of osteoporotic fracture (especially if your mother had a hip fracture)
  • Fracture with minimal trauma after age 40
  • Early menopause (before the age of 45)
  • Low calcium intake
  • Excessive intake of caffeine (consistently more than 4 cups a day of coffee, tea, cola)
  • Excessive intake of alcohol (consistently more than 2 drinks per day)
  • Smoking
  • Body weight less than 57 kg (125 lbs)

To prevent the bone loss that comes with menopause and to lower your risk of fracture there are a number of steps you can take:

  • For women 50+ ensure your daily calcium intake is 1500 mg
  • Minimize intake of salt and salty foods
  • Increase vitamin D intake (adults over 50 should receive 800 IUs per day)
  • Exercise
  • Don't smoke
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine intake

Prevention is still the best medicine and now there is a natural health supplement that has been shown to slow down the progression of bone loss in younger as well as menopausal women.

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"For years, hormone replacement therapy has been the treatment of choice in preventing bone loss and bone fractures after menopause," says Dr. Nancy Durand, Gynecologist, Sunnybrook & Women's College Health Sciences Centre. "However, many women are not willing to take HRT so other alternatives are necessary to ensure they maintain their bone health. There are two excellent natural health products that I recommend in my practice - PromensilT and RimostilT - both are safe, can be taken once a day, and have been extensively studied. PromensilT significantly slows down the rate of bone loss with the added benefit of alleviating menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes. RimostilT, on the other hand, has been shown to improve bone density and has a beneficial effect on lipid profile. It's an optimal choice for postmenopausal women seeking a natural treatment option," adds Durand.

To find out more about natural health supplements that can help to prevent and treat osteoporosis, speak to your doctor or pharmacist.

Note: Certain information included in this article has been adapted from the Osteoporosis Society of Canada's website www.osteoporosis.ca

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- News Canada

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