Before menopause, the body’s production of new bone happens more than the removal of old bone. The opposite happens after menopause when ovaries stop the production of the hormone estrogen. This leads to increased removal of bone which decreases bone strength. Osteoporosis is diagnosed when bone health declines and reduces bone strength. Sarcopenia is a new concept that incorporates the inevitable loss of muscle mass, muscle strength and performance as we age.
- Diet, exercise and reducing your risk of falling can help you to maintain healthy bones. A bone-friendly lifestyle includes the following:
- Optimise dietary intake of calcium by using a calcium calculator (available online). Only supplement with calcium tablets if unable to do so by eating foods rich in calcium such as milk, yogurt, and green leafy vegetables.
- Optimise blood levels of Vitamin D. This is closely associated with sunlight exposure but can be measured by a standard blood test. Vitamin D deficiency can be corrected with supplements.
- Dietary intake of 1 gram protein per kilogram of body weight per day.
- Weight bearing exercise (such as walking) for 30 minutes most days of the week.
- Add balance exercises and strength training when possible.
- Avoid smoking.
- Limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
International Menopause Society, ‘World menopause Day’, viewed on 11 October 2021, https://www.imsociety.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/WMD-2021-English-Poster.pdf