This blog post is as much about me researching osteoporosis as it is about giving my readers some information of what it is all about. My knowledge up until now has been that women are more at risk of osteoporosis than men (but men can get it too) and that our declining hormones in midlife are a risk factor, I also know that taking HRT and doing regular exercise, especially strength training can really help reduce your risk. But when I was approached to write a blog post about it, I obviously wanted to find out more and check my facts ... and there is much more to it, for starters I learnt that as well as osteoporosis there is osteopenia and brittle bone disease as well - read on!
Now as you know I am a huge supporter of women taking HRT if they possibly can and that doing regular exercise and especially incorporating strength training into your routine can have a massive positive impact on our health overall in midlife. And maintaining a healthy weight is important, we all know the risks associated with obesity but losing a lot of weight can also reduce our bone density.
What is osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a health condition that weakens bones, making them fragile and more likely to break. It develops over several years and is often only diagnosed when a fall or sudden impact causes a bone to break (source NHS website).
Osteopenia is the stage before osteoporosis develops, it is when a bone density scan shows you have lower bone density than average for your age (source NHS website).
Brittle Bone Disease or Osteogenesis Imperfecta is a genetic disease that results in abnormal bone formation, it is not the same as osteoporosis.
How can we reduce our risk of developing osteoporosis?
HRT - although not used to treat osteoporosis it can really help with prevention as replacing our lost hormones naturally (using body-identical oestrogen for example) can keep our bones stronger.
Weight bearing exercise - and resistance training are really important in midlife, so try to incorporate regular exercise where your feet and legs bear your full weight i.e. lifting weights, walking, hiking, climbing stairs, tennis and dancing.
Vitamin D and sun - this is so important and has been mentioned a lot during the current Covid-19 pandemic as higher levels of Vitamin D seem to reduce the severity of symptoms. Get outside more and when you can't during the winter months then consider adding a Vitamin D supplement to your diet. It is quite difficult to get enough Vitamin D through food alone. I wrote about supplements and midlife here.
Healthy eating - this is important for everyone! A healthy diet can prevent and protect us from so many diseases and ailments. If you are unsure what to eat or need a bit of support I cannot stress enough the importance of educating yourself. I am loving being a member of Menu & Mind for that reason and the accountability, but do look out for a nutritionist that offers workshops specifically for midlife women - I wrote about one here.
Stop smoking and drink less alcohol - well yes, I don't need to explain that one! I am back to my goal to 'only drink wine when I go out' and 'not drink at home' as this seems to create a natural balance for me.
Marodyne LiV - the reason why I wrote this blog post and found out more about osteoporosis was that I was contacted by a company that offers a device that can prevent osteoporosis and help strengthen bones. Marodyne LiV is the first advanced medical device certified to prevent osteoporosis and improve blood flow. Marodyne LiV therapy uses low-intensity vibrations (LiV) to gently stimulate the body and encourage the bone building cells to work. The sensation is a really faint buzz through your body and even very unwell or elderly people can use it because it is so gentle. The feeling has been compared to stroking a large purring cat! There are clinical studies that have found that standing for just ten minutes a day on the Marodyne LiV can prevent osteoporosis, grow bone and lower the risk of fractures. The device is recognised by the charity the Royal Osteoporosis Society as a safe and effective tool for preventing osteoporosis. It was originally developed by NASA to help astronauts restore their bone density after being weightless (non weight-bearing!) in space so I suppose you could say rocket science has come to your front room!
Who is at risk from osteoporosis?
For a detailed explanation of the risk factors, please go to the NHS website but for the purposes of my blog post I am talking about the risks for midlife women who are peri-menopause or post-menopause. Losing bone density is a normal part of ageing but some people lose it faster than others. And this is especially so in the first few years after menopause (menopause is officially one year after the date of your last menstrual period). Women are also at higher risk if their menopause starts early (pre-45) or if they have had a hysterectomy with their ovaries removed.
Which is why it is so important to look after our health and understand peri-menopause rather than waiting. So many women do not realise they are peri-menopausal and do not seek help early enough, many suffering for years or being told they are depressed and given anti-depressants by poorly trained GPs. Please if you are around the age of '45 plus' do not just accept what the GP tells you. Do your research and find out more. I talk about this a lot on my blog - this is the best post to start on if you want to understand a bit more about menopause.
I am a big advocate of HRT and regular exercise but that isn't always possible so it is good to know that Marodyne LiV offers an accessible alternative to help boost your bone health. Ideally, you would use Marodyne LiV alongside healthy diet choices and regular physical activity to boost your effort to prevent or combat osteoporosis. I hope this information is useful, I'd love to hear from you as always, do leave a comment or send me an email.
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Disclaimer: I was approached by Marodyne LiV to write a sponsored blog post about osteoporosis and osteoporosis prevention. I have tried to write an informative and honest blog post but I am not medically qualified and I have not tried the Marodyne LiV device myself. It is important that you do your own research on your risk factors and preventative treatments before making any decisions.
Welcome to Fifty & Fab, a lifestyle blog to inspire you. I am a blogger with a passion for writing about style, beauty, health and fitness with a focus on the over 50's. I am based in Marlow but work across London and the South East.
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Hi, I’m Michelle and my blog Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my fifties. I share style tips, health and fitness inspiration, I talk about my holidays and days out and I tell you about my beauty regime and my lifestyle. I hope you might pick up a tip or two and get some inspiration!
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