Menopause can have a profound impact on women’s bodies, including causing osteoporosis. We explore the links between osteoporosis and menopause, including how Low-intensity Vibration can be used as an effective prevention tool for osteoporosis.
Scientists first began to explore the links between the menopause and osteoporosis in the 1960s. Clinical data subsequently confirmed the hypothesis that the drop in oestrogen levels that women experience during the menopause leads to a reduction in bone strength.
Women can lose up to 20% of bone density between five to seven years after the menopause and half of all women aged over 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis. Women are more likely than men to develop osteoporosis, as a direct result of the physiological changes brought on by menopause.
Menopause will have an impact on your bone health, but there are still things you can do to fight back and prevent osteoporosis:
Pursue regular exercise. The NHS recommends you do at least 150 minutes of exercise per week. The best exercises for your bones are weight-bearing exercises such as running, dancing or tennis.
Scientists have established that Low-intensity Vibration is effective at preventing bone loss, something that all menopausal women should take seriously. A recent study concluded: “Low-magnitude whole-body vibration therapy can provide a significant improvement in reducing bone loss in the lumbar spine in post-menopausal women.”
Marodyne LiV uses Low-intensity Vibrations (LiV) to stimulate the body gently. These precise movements encourage the body’s bone-building cells (osteoblasts) to work.
A one-year placebo-controlled research study of post-menopausal women demonstrated that low-level vibration effectively inhibits bone loss in the spine and femur. In one study, the placebo group lost 2.13% in femoral neck bone mineral density (BMD) over the year, whereas the active cohort recorded a 2.17% increase in BMD.
The researchers concluded that, “If used regularly, the progress of osteoporosis can be at least slowed down, stopped or even reversed.”
Your body needs the right fuel to grow and develop strong bones. Specifically, you need to ensure that you’re eating a diet rich in vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamin D.
Calcium is great for building strong bones. As well as dairy products like milk, yoghurt and cheese, you can get a healthy dose of calcium from leafy vegetables, nuts seeds and dried fruits.
Vitamin D is another essential for maintaining bone strength. You can find it in oily fish, eggs, fat spreads and fortified breakfast cereals.
While it’s easy (and tasty) to get the amount of calcium you need, Vitamin D is a little more difficult. Vitamin D supplements are a good option if you’re struggling to get enough in your regular diet and particularly in the winter when the UK experiences less sunlight.