It’s one of the least talked about issues for women, or so it seems. We hear a lot about the obvious health challenges women face, but tending to our bones is an issue we skirt around until we hear the bad news for ourselves. Half of all women over the age of 50 will experience a fractured bone in their hips, wrists, or vertebrae. Half! Can you imagine if that was a statistic for any other modern disease?
We can do better to take care of the only skeleton we will ever have! What is it they say; an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure? Taking small steps now, will help set a pattern of healthy habits and a sturdy foundation for stronger bones down the road.
What is the root cause of brittle and thinning bones, otherwise known as osteoporosis? The most common cause that we all have heard is the lack of calcium and vitamin D. While this is surely a contributing factor, there are so many other possible causes.
- A decrease in estrogen during menopause can cause our bones to age faster.
- Increases in overall inflammation can be a contributor. Inflammation can be caused by disease or a steady diet of processed foods and refined carbohydrates.
- A sedentary lifestyle
- Some medications, such as steroids can rob our bones of precious minerals.
- Gastric bypass can create problems with the absorption of Vitamin D and Calcium, thereby causing bone trouble.
- Poor diet. This includes not getting enough animal protein.
From your list above you can see how easily it could be to reverse some of the risk factors that lead to osteoporosis. What if you just chose one item from the list of causes to work on this month? Get out and move your body. Enjoy the bright and beautiful colors of Fall. Work on a healthy diet filled with dark leafy greens and healthy proteins.
There are no symptoms of osteoporosis until you experience your first fracture. An x-ray will reveal that trouble has been brewing. If you don’t want to wait to find out, schedule a dexa scan with Madison Women’s Clinic. A scan such as this will allow your provider to see where your bones are showing signs of thinning. Perhaps some simple blood work will reveal areas of deficiency that would be easy to course correct now.
Don’t put off these simple tests and lifestyle changes until your first fracture. You’ll be relieved to know your body is in the best shape possible as you face your menopause years and beyond!