“Aging is beautiful when it is embraced with love, respect and compassion for self”. This is how a woman should welcome the postmenopausal phase of her life. As women we often discount our feelings and try to skew our thoughts and emotions so that they are acceptable to others. But there is one such phase in life where everybody around a woman; be it spouse, in-laws, children have to provide emotional and supportive care to her- this is the Menopause and Postmenopause period.
Menopause and Postmenopause brings about multiple physical and emotional changes — changes that shouldn’t be feared rather should be dealt with professional care and guidance of healthcare experts. Often, women are led to believe that all the uncomfortable symptoms associated with menopause disappear once postmenopause begins. This however, is not always the case, and the symptoms some women may experience when they are Postmenopausal are very similar to those they are already familiar with.
If you are waking up flushed and sweaty several times a night; putting on weight; having insomnia, feeling stressed out most of the times; and loosing bone health, then these are all symptoms of postmenopause. During postmenopause, the body’s production of essential hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone taper off, leaving women vulnerable to a number of health conditions like osteoporosis.
Do you know……… Worldwide, an estimated 200 million women are affected by osteoporosis and around one in three women aged over 50 will suffer from a fracture due to it. Each year millions of our grandmothers are crippled and disfigured; It is estimated that the average woman loses up to 10 per cent of her bone mass in the first five years of menopause.
According to a new report published by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF), women may expect to live longer but their quality of life will be seriously jeopardized if action to protect their bone health is not taken. On the occasion of World’s Osteoporosis day, I would like to share dietary and lifestyle guidelines for a healthy and safe postmenopause period. Nutritional care, regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle can reduce the risk for osteoporosis. Judge your diet…….
- Are you taking enough calcium in your diet?……Check it out! CALCIUM is the most important mineral for bone and should be the main focus of a woman’s diet. Eating and drinking two to four servings of dairy products and calcium-rich foods a day will help ensure that you are getting enough calcium in your daily diet. Calcium is found in dairy products, fish with bones (such as sardines and canned salmon), broccoli, and legumes. An adequate intake of calcium for women aged 51 and older is 1,200 milligrams per day.
- Its not only calcium, you need to pump you iron levels as well. Eating at least three servings of iron-rich foods a day will help ensure that you are getting enough iron in your daily diet. Iron is found in lean red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, leafy green vegetables, nuts, and enriched grain products. The recommended dietary allowance for iron in older women is 8 milligrams a day.
- How many of you know that animal protein in the diet is directly related to the absorption of calcium in the body. If you were to load up your plate with chicken, fish, beef, or any other source of animal protein, your kidneys would quickly start to lose calcium. Animal protein tends to escort calcium from the bloodstream, through the kidneys, into the urine. In an extreme case, a high-meat-intake diet can increase calcium loss by more than 50 percent.
- Save your heart along with your bones: Fat should provide 25% to 35% or less of your total daily calories. Also, limit saturated fat to less than 7% of your total daily calories.
Saturated fat raises cholesterol and increases your risk for heart disease.
- Are you following an exercise regime? No.. You should know that exercising regularly throughout life can reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Doing some type of physical activity on most days of the week for between 30 and 40 minutes is recommended. In addition to reducing bone loss, physical activity will improve muscle strength, balance and fitness, and also reduce the incidence of falls and fractures.
- Do you remain indoors most of the time? A BIG NO. This way you are not letting your body have enough Vitamin D. Vitamin D is made in the skin following sun exposure, and is found in very small amounts in some foods. This is one of the most important vitamins for bone health.
- Have soya or its products thrice a week. Soy contains not only calcium but also plant estrogens, and it seems to help maintain bone density.
Let’s not take our bones for granted and ignore them until one break with bone-thinning in old age. Your bones are for life. Look after them and they will carry you far. Diet Mantra shares dietary guidelines on World Osteoporosis Day to keep your bones fit and healthy…….
Facts you must know………
- Osteoporosis is a chronic, common and costly condition. Often called the ‘silent thief’ because bone loss occurs without symptoms unless one has fractured.
- Osteoporosis can strike at any age. Women and men alike begin to lose bone in their mid-30s; as they approach menopause, women lose bone at a greater rate, from 2-3 per cent per year.
- Risk factors include age, sex, vertebral compression fracture; fragility fracture after age 40, either parent has had a hip fracture, medical conditions or medications that contribute to bone loss.
- Associated complications: bone fractures-hip, spine, wrist most common. Decreased quality of life. Over 80% of all fractures in people 50+ are caused by osteoporosis.
- Fractures from osteoporosis are more common than heart attack, stroke, and breast cancer combined.
- Building strong bones during childhood and adolescence can be the best defence against developing osteoporosis later.
- Twenty-eight per cent of women and 37% of men who suffer a hip fracture will die within the following year.
- A healthy balanced nutrient rich diet right from the childhood years can help prevent osteoporosis.