Microsoft word - abcs - menopause handout.doc

Menopause means graduation! One year has passed
safe way to prevent bone loss—800 or 1000 IU a day is since the last menstrual period and perimenopause is over. appropriate in the years after menopause. That can be Because of the hormonal changes of the first few years achieved with a multiple-vitamin and a 400 IU pill or by a after menopause, bone renovation is more rapid and risks single 1000 IU pill. Vitamin D is stored in fat and can be for bone loss are greater. It is time to begin or continue the habits that will keep bones healthy for the rest of our “E” IS FOR “EASY GOING“
Does feeling good about your value and your future help Bone health is influenced by how we live our lives. bones? Yes! High stress hormones, such as cortisol, cause Below are the many practical things you can do (with the bone loss. Cortisol levels also increase with hot flushes help of your health care provider) to prevent osteoporosis and night sweats. If nights are chronically interrupted with (the problem of weak and fragile bones). night sweats and days are troubled by hot flushes, seek “A” IS FOR “ACTIVE”
treatment. Learning and practicing relaxation will help. Bones gain strength through forces they “feel” from Sharing with friends, preparing for the future and taking muscular work or gravity. Exercise certainly is important care of yourself will help decrease stress and protect bone to prevent bone loss. Although in general exercise can’t build much bone after our teen years, bones are probably “F” IS FOR “BONE FORMATION”
stronger in those who regularly do some activity. Bone balance requires new bone formation by osteoblast Exercise is also good for whole body health. Therefore cells. Osteoblasts work slowly and after growth often do aim for at least a half-hour of walking daily. Harder not keep up with normal bone loss. Progesterone, the natural hormone made after ovulation (egg release) “B” IS FOR “BRAWNY”
stimulates osteoblasts to build bone. Bone formation is Weight gain, no matter how much we abhor it, is normal decreased after menopause because progesterone levels in midlife and this gain will usually persist following are lower. If low bone density is already present daily menopause. Thinner women lose bone more rapidly after menopause. Muscle weight, in particular, is good for Progesterone will also effectively treat hot flushes and bones. Exercise can maintain muscle weight and decrease waistline expansion. Remember, eight loss, no matter how “G” AND “H” ARE FOR “GOOD HABITS”
careful, will cause increased bone loss. That means regular meals and sleep, not smoking and “C” IS FOR “CALCIUM”
drinking no more than 2 caffeine-containing drinks a day Calcium is not only the building block for bone but also (coffee or colas). Cigarettes, in addition to being ensuring high but safe amounts can prevent bone loss. addicting, cause lower weights and bone loss. Excess Women after menopause are recommended to have 1200 mg of “elemental” calcium each day. (Be sure to read “I” MEANS “INHIBIT BONE RESORPTION”
labels). Those with a family history of osteoporosis or low Bone is renovated by osteoclast cells that remove old bone density probably need 1500 to 2000 mg a day. Each bone to make way for new. Osteoclasts work faster than high-calcium food (1-cup [250-ml] milk and other osteoblasts—this causes net bone loss. With a family supplemented beverages, ¾ c. yogurt or hunk of cheese) history of osteoporosis, or low bone density at the time of contains 300 mg of calcium. Calcium needs to be spread menopause, doing “A” through “H” may not be sufficient out. The body cannot use more than about 500 mg at a to prevent osteoporosis. A bisphosphonate medication time. Take calcium in food or supplements with each meal called etidronate is effective for prevention. It can be and at bedtime. If five or six high-calcium foods per day taken in the middle of the night for two weeks of every 3- are not practical, replace food with supplemental calcium, months. Hormonal therapies to prevent bone loss include estrogen (this would be appropriate only if you are also “D” IS FOR “VITAMIN D”
having disturbing hot flushes) and nasal calcitonin. For Vitamin D is in some foods and can be made in sun- osteoporosis treatment, stronger medicine may be needed. exposed skin. Everyone needs 200 IU a day and 400 IU a day is practical through the dark winter. Vitamin D is a This handout is made available by the Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research, University of British
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