Women start losing bone density well before menopause when oestrogen levels are high but do not generally suffer osteoporosis or brittle bone disease until they are in their 70’s unless they have undergone removal of the ovaries.

Since there are no obvious symptoms for this disease many women can be diagnosed with osteoporosis but still appear to live healthy lives. It is only when the skeletal frame becomes so fragile that falls or even knocks lead to fractures.

While the hormone oestrogen can prevent loss it does not build new bone and any beneficial effect gained from HRT drugs is lost as soon as these drugs are stopped when bone density falls to previous levels. The other female sex hormone progesterone in its natural form can help build new bones.

Minerals like calcium and magnesium are vital for healthy bones as is vitamin D which is activated in the skin by sunshine and helps the kidneys to reabsorb calcium from the urine. Certain B vitamins are also believed to be important in maintaining bone structure. Red meat, soft drinks, caffeine, alcohol. Sugar and fried foods as well as smoking can be detrimental for healthy bones.

Adequate weight bearing exercise also protects against this disease which has been shown to have a hereditary link

An overactive thyroid can increase bone loss by producing too much hormone as can thyroid medication. Steroid drugs also increase bone loss.

Information Courtesy of:
The Menopausal Helpline Limited
Registered number 3265025
228 Muswell Hill
Broadway
London
N10 3SH

Tel: 0208 444 5202
Fax: 0208 444 8442

DIRECTORS: Maggie Tuttle (Chairman), Lindsey Hill (Company Secretary)
PATRONS; Dr Erik Enby, Dr Adel Badr

The Menopausal Helpline Limited is supported by M.R.1S. (Menopausal Research and Information Service). a charitable company limited by guarantee. Registered with the Charity Commission under no 1069084

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