Ideally women should be thinking about avoiding osteoporosis before menopause. Knowing what to eat and taking additional support can guard against this complaint but even if you have a diagnosis, nutritional therapy can help.
Although osteoporosis is not given high priority by the NHS, postmenopausal women have a 50% risk of sustaining a fracture in their life time and a 60 year man has a 30% risk.
Osteoporosis is preventable and knowing how to look after your bones is of primary importance, especially as it is a ‘silent’ or invisible disease and it is not until the first fracture occurs that you know you have it.
Osteoporosis is the most common bone disease in humans and post- menopausal women are particularly vulnerable as lowered oestrogen levels can precipitate a loss in bone mass. Genetics and heredity account for 50-80% of the variability in bone mineral density and thinner women are more at risk as fat cells produce extra oestrogen. Unfortunately, women with oestrogen dominance, also tend to have more fat around the middle!
About a third of men get hip fractures, however because they have bigger bones than women this makes them less vulnerable.
In fact, bone making is finished by age 17 with peak bone mass completed by age 28. After this there is a gradual loss of bone which quickens after menopause with annual loss of about 2% a year. After 70yrs the rate of loss is much slower.
Osteoporosis is caused when normal balance between bone resorption (breakdown) and bone formation (remodelling) has been disrupted. In Osteoporosis breakdown predominates, leading to bone fragility and increased risk of fracture.
Nevertheless, bones are living tissues and are constantly repairing areas of damage by a process of renewal called bone remodelling. Adequate nutrient consumption of the right sort and weight bearing exercise are prerequisites for optimum bone health.
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