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In case you haven’t thought about your bone health lately, or perhaps you are beginning to suspect problems, let me sound the alarm and remind you how important bone health is at any age, especially once you start journeying through menopause.
Dr. Margaret Nachtigall is answering your questions and giving us a run down on bone health, why it matters, and how to prevent future problems in this episode of GRUFFtalk: How to Age Better.
Dr. Margaret is a board-certified Reproductive Endocrinologist at NYU Langone Health in New York City. She is also the Medical Director of Menopause Cheat Sheet, a free newsletter we publish together to help women navigate life before, during, and after menopause.
New Vitamin D Study
It feels irresponsible to have an entire episode dedicated to bone health without bringing up what I like to call, the little vitamin that could. You’re likely familiar with Vitamin D and all its benefits, but in this episode, we’re discussing a new study that claims it doesn’t do much to prevent fractures.
Dr. Margaret shares all the things this study doesn’t really address. Her review is a great example of how you, too, can review these medical studies and not assign more importance than appropriate. After careful consideration, Dr. Margaret is still very much in favor of continuing her Vitamin D regimen . . . for herself and her patients.
Strong Bone Health Heading into Menopause
If you weren’t aware of how important estrogen was to bone health before, you’ll be clear on how vital it is for bone growth and strength after this episode. Dr. Margaret explains how estrogen actually helps to lay down new bone.
Women are most susceptible to increased bone loss within the first five years after menopause, which is why it is super important to have strong bones before you become menopausal. You can achieve this with the right exercise (specifically resistance training), smart food choices with lots of calcium, minimizing alcohol, and definitely no smoking.
Dr. Margaret reveals who is at greater risk for bone loss or osteoporosis and offers tips on how to counter those risks with easy lifestyle choices.
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Dr. Margaret’s ‘Better Bone Health’ Take Aways:
- You will experience bone loss during menopause due to drops in estrogen
- Get a bone density test sooner rather than later if you are at high risk for osteoporosis
- There are several effective treatments for low bone density and osteoporosis, but Dr. Margaret encourages everyone to prevent bone loss with the lifestyle changes.
Other Studies We Reviewed
In this episode, we also discuss the new official statement from the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) revealing how much the benefits of systemic hormone therapy outweigh any risk for certain groups of women. We then discussed how women who are vegetarians or vegans are at a much greater risk to fracture a bone, and lastly, we talked about a new study showing how important it is to move — even for just two minutes — after each meal.
Bone Health & Osteoporosis Foundation
NAMS 2022 Position Statement on Hormone Therapy
Vegetarian and Vegan Women Have a Great Risk of Fracturing a Bone
Walking Two Minutes After You Eat is Beneficial
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