Menopause can lead to a period of decline for your bone health. Find out how to help protect them.
Women are overwhelmingly more likely to develop osteoporosis than men in America. And that disease has harmful effects: Approximately one in two women over age 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis.
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, estrogen — a hormone that protects bones — decreases sharply when women reach menopause, which can cause bone loss. The foundation also reports that in the five to seven years following menopause, a woman can lose up to 20 percent of her bone density.
Years ago, osteoporosis was considered just another part of aging. But now we know how to prevent, detect, and treat the disease. The National Osteoporosis Foundation suggests the following tips for women of all ages to help protect bone health:
- Get enough calcium and vitamin D and eat a well-balanced diet.
- Exercise regularly.
- Eat foods that are good for bone health, such as fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid smoking and limit alcohol.
Worried about your bone health? The Vanderbilt Breast Center offers bone density screenings to help predict your future risk of a fracture.