Osteoporosis: the emperor has no clothes

What if everything your doctor told you about osteoporosis and osteopenia was wrong?

Until recently, most of the medical fraternity believed that the reason older people fell was because their bones had become brittle and fractured more readily. An article in the Journal of Internal Medicine titled, “Osteoporosis: the emperor has no clothes,” confirms that the primary cause of what are normally labeled “osteoporotic fractures” are falls due more to lifestyle factors and not osteoporosis, i.e. abnormally “porous” or low-density bones.

The new study pointed out three false notions that can be disputed:

  1. Mistaken diagnoses:  Most fracture patients have fallen, but actually do not have osteoporosis. A high likelihood of falling is an age-related decline in physical health.
  2. Ineffective screening: Current fracture risk predictions including bone densitometry and other prediction tools can’t identify a large proportion of patients who will sustain a fracture, whereas many of those with a high fracture risk score will not sustain one.
  3. Unproven and unsafe treatment: The evidence for the success of prescribing drugs to prevent hip and other fractures is mainly limited to women aged 65–80 years with osteoporosis, whereas the proof of hip fracture-prevention in women over 80 and in men at all ages is virtually non-existent. Plus many drugs for the treatment of osteoporosis have also been associated with increased risks and serious side effects.

“While bone drugs like Fosamax  (a bisphosphonate) may contribute to increased bone mineral density, they do not necessarily improve bone quality and strength. Very dense bone created by destroying osteoclasts (bone-degrading cells) may be far more brittle than less dense bone where there is healthy turnover of the osteoclasts and osteoblasts (bone-building cells). In fact, drugs like Fosamax are notorious for contributing to bone degeneration in the jawbone. Plus an extensive body of research indicates higher-than-normal bone density greatly increases the risk of breast cancer.”


The authors conclude: “Given all this, should ‘osteoporosis’ be added to a long list of diagnoses for which doing less, or even nothing, is better than our contemporary practice?”

Fortunately, there are natural alternatives!

Eating a balanced diet of organic, unprocessed foods, using a natural bio-identical form of the hormone *Progesterone, doing regular weight-bearing exercises plus practices like yoga, Pilates, tai chi, walking etc., can help reduce the risk of fracture, and increase bone mineral density and strength.

*At ‘Your Natural Menopause’ we recommend a natural, organic progesterone cream called Naturone, available from their  website  www.naturone.com

Heroes & Villains of Menopause

Superheroes and villains of menopause

 

HEROES & VILLAINS:  the good the bad and the ugly 

With the current movie craze for Superheroes showing no sign of abating, we decided to jump on the bandwagon and start a series on the Villains and Heroes of Menopause! There are plenty of candidates for both in all aspects of experiencing a natural menopause, and this week we start with diet; who are the Heroes and the Villains of food?                                        

What you eat during menopause is all important. Because of your body’s hormonal changes, foods you used to eat without a second thought now seem to stick to your tums and bums like glue! 

Of course, no food on its own is a villain! It’s just so many of them have been adulterated to make them more appealing i.e. removing fats and adding extra sugar to compensate!

Whatever diet/eating plan you choose to follow, the general rule is to avoid processed foods, and watch out for hidden sugars, and instead choose whole, nutrient-rich minimally processed foods.

Environmental toxins

Of course, dietary advice can be a bit of a moving target, and needs to be regularly revised based on new research. A classic example would be the advice to eat fish, one of the best sources of protein and a critically important source of high-quality animal-based omega-3 fat. However,environmental pollution with heavy metals and other toxins has become so pervasive with mercury, PCBs and other toxins, that eating nearly any fish now may actually do more harm than good…

VILLAINS

Processed foods which contain excess sugar, preservatives, additives, trans-fats, (hydrogenated vegetable and seed oils which are unsaturated fats that have been artificially manipulated into saturated fats i.e.made solid) colourants, harmful chemicals, pesticides, gm foods, many of which are hormone disruptors.

HEROES

Organic vegetables, meat, eggs, dairy products. Healthy fats such as saturated fats that are found in organic animal products like unpasteurised milk, butter and cheese and fatty meats, plus avocados, raw nuts and coconut oil.

Trust your body

Your body is designed to identify the best foods, but problems arise when it is  tricked into craving foods that don’t contain the nutrients promised by their smell and taste. The system does work, however, if you eat real food.

“My advice to people is to eat the most delicious food you can, but buy real foods,” says award-winning journalist and author, Mark Schatzker. ”Don’t be frightened of calories. Don’t be frightened of food … The other thing I’d like to tell people is be aware of your own eating experience … I think there are two different kinds of delicious.

There’s a delicious feeling where you can’t stop eating. This is what happens to me with flavoured potato chips or the like. You have one and you just can’t resist putting your hand back in the bag … These are experiences to be avoided …

“Then there are other foods — dark chocolate and a great tomato are good examples— where the point isn’t to stuff as much into your mouth as fast as you can. The point is to sit in a kind of deep contemplation of this incredible flavour experience. That, to me, is a better kind of food experience to have. I don’t think it’s one that you need to be afraid of. I think it’s one that will give back.

Also, be aware of how you feel after a meal. Try to integrate that into your perception of food. I’ve eaten some pretty low-end fried chicken that had that manic I-can’t-stop-eating [sensation], and an hour later I felt dreadful. If you can remember that feeling, it makes you less inclined to go after that [unhealthy food] again in the future.”

All this might all seem a bit daunting at first, but remember that the most complex tasks can be made easy if you just take one step at a time.

(The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor,” by Mark Schatzker)

How to pause the menopause

How to delay the menopause with diet

How to Pause the Menopause

We know that a diet rich in  fish and legumes is healthy, but how many women know that it can delay the onset of the menopause? And women who eat a lot of pasta and rice may hasten the process, scientists have found.

A British study involving more than 35,000 women aged between 25 and 69 from England, Scotland and Wales has found that a woman’s diet, and her intake of meat, fish, vegetables and carbohydrates, may play a role in the age at which she goes through the natural menopause.  Natural menopause is when menstrual periods stop permanently for at least 12 consecutive months.

The study, published in the BMJ Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health , found that the average age of menopause was 51, but noted that certain foods play a role in its timing taking into account influential factors such as weight, physical activity, reproductive history and women’s use of hormone replacement therapy.
It found that for each additional daily portion of carbohydrates eaten, particularly pasta and rice, women were more likely to reach the menopause 1.5 years before 51, but that for each additional daily portion of fish and fresh legumes – beans and peas – women could delay the process by more than three years. Women with a higher intake of vitamin B6 and zinc were also more likely to delay the menopause.
Omega 3

Vegetarians were found to reach the menopause at an earlier age than women who ate meat. Non-vegetarians who increased their daily portion of savoury snacks were more likely to reach the menopause by 49 while mothers who ate high levels of oily fish and fresh legumes reached the process at a later date. Women without children were found to delay the menopause by eating more grapes and poultry.

Oily fish, which contacts omega 3 fatty acids, are found to stimulate antioxidants in the body while legumes contain oxidants, which are important in the maturation and release of eggs during ovulation, explained researchers.

Refined carbohydrates, such as pasta and rice, can boost insulin resistance and oestrogen levels, both of which could increase the number of menstrual cycles a women experiences and deplete her egg supply faster.

While vegetarians consume a lot of antioxidants in their diets, they are more likely to eat more fibre and less animal fat which are associated with low oestrogen levels and can affect the timing of the menopause.

Women who go through the menopause early are at increased risk of osteoporosis and heart disease, while those who go through the process late are at increased risk of breast, womb and ovarian cancers, noted the study.

While the study’s findings confirmed that a woman’s diet could be associated with the age when natural menopause occurs, it cautioned that the women involved in the research were “more affluent and health conscious than average” which may have influenced the findings.

However, given the implications that menopause can have on health conditions later in life, the researchers from the University of Leeds noted that the research was relevant to public health and that health practitioners should take into account the diet of a woman when dealing with menopause-related issues

How barcodes can help you have a healthy diet

How barcodes can help with a healthy diet

Healthy eating is crucial for hormone balance, but sometimes shopping for the best foods can be complicated. Here’s a little tip to help you weed out some of the less desirable items from your shopping basket.

Did you know that the numbers in front of barcodes on items relate to the countries they’re processed in? Do not buy food processed in China, Hong Kong, Vietnam or Thailand as they have no food inspection regulations. Here are links on how to read barcodes, and the numbers of all the countries.

How to read barcodes
Country codes

Magnificent Magnesium in Menopause

Magnesium serves hundreds of functions within the body and is an important part of bone health, heart health, a healthy nervous system, cellular energy, hormone regulation and the relaxation and activation of muscle tissue. Dark green leafy vegetables, dried beans and legumes such as baked beans, lentils and peanuts, and nuts such as almonds and cashews are rich in magnesium.

There are positive associations between magnesium intake and bone mineral density in women. Studies suggest that increasing intake from food or supplements might increase bone mineral density in postmenopausal women. For example, one short-term study found that 290 mg/day elemental magnesium (as magnesium citrate) for 30 days in 20 postmenopausal women with osteoporosis suppressed bone turnover compared with a placebo, suggesting that bone loss decreased.

Dr. Carolyn Dean, MD ND and author of The Magnesium Miracle has said;

“To obtain enough magnesium from the diet takes special care and knowledge of magnesium-rich foods, but we still need to supplement with magnesium.”

Magnesium supplements are a safe, effective way to ensure an adequate intake, but not all supplements are created equal. For the best combination of convenience and bio-availability:

  •  eat a combination of foods containing magnesium
  • apply a trans-dermal magnesium product for convenience that bypasses problems associated with the GI tract e.g. magnesium bath salts (Epsom salts), magnesium oil spray or lotions
  • take oral magnesium in tablet form
  • try the magnesium rich raw chocolate recipe below

Magnesium and Resveratrol Rich Chocolate

Magnesium rich raw chocolate recipeIngredients

Combine all ingredients – you may need to soften coconut oil if it is solid. Pour into chocolate moulds or a lined baking tray and allow to set in the fridge.

Get creative and add your favourite flavours to tantalise your taste buds.
Try a dash of vanilla; pinch of sea salt; nut butters; goji berries; raspberries, orange peel; pistachios; flaked almonds. The possibilities are endless!

Enjoy the guilt free pleasure!

With thanks to Food Matters  for the recipe

 

 

Optimal Habits for a Healthy Menopause

The very best habits you can develop for a healthy menopause

Habits for a Healthy Menopause

BECOME A VIGILANTE!habits for a healthy menopause

While hormones play a vital part in a healthy life-style, there’s a lot more to do! The no. 1 mistake a lot of people make is being unaware. Be vigilant about anything that you put in or on your body. Toxic substances in food, creams, shampoos, cleaning products, all add to the xeno-oestrogen overload polluting Mother Earth, that you can eliminate.Learn their names and read the labels. Eliminate sugar from your diet, especially high fructose corn syrup. According to nutrition experts, it’s as addictive as cocaine and heroin, and there’s  new research on how sugar fuels cancer cells, which is their only source of energy. Deprive them of that and they die! Also avoid all artificial sweeteners like Aspartame and the like. There are natural plant based alternatives such as xylitol and stevia.  A good rule of thumb is put nothing on your body that you wouldn’t put in your mouth! There is ALWAYS a healthy alternative.

More than 84,000 chemicals are used in household products, cosmetics, food, and food packaging, and a majority of these have never been tested for safety

Healthy, organic eating is vital for good health. Far too many people eat anything unquestioningly as long as it tastes good. Organisations started to practically poison our food, seemingly without most of us noticing.

Fortunately, some people started waking up, and there’s now a big move to healthy, organic eating.

Food production is one of the basic fundamentals of our society, and if we change our mindset, eating habits and  consumer patterns, corporations will have to respond and adapt to a new market.

The small farmer is getting back to being relevant to the whole chain of production and people are even growing plants and seeds in their homes.

habits for a healthy menopauseYour diet should consist of as much raw organic food as possible,especially vegetables, plus beef from grass fed cows, free range organic chicken and eggs and out-door reared pork. Above all, avoid all processed foods.They are the source of most of the inflammation we suffer from.  We now know that 80% of our immune system resides in our gut, and research shows that your gut flora can affect numerous processes in your body, including your metabolism, energy production, nutrition, and genetic expression. Your intestinal microflora is unique.

Choice of foods can alter your microflora in a matter of days, for better or worse. The ideal way to optimise your gut flora is to include fermented foods in your daily diet. While most probiotic supplements contain no more than 10 billion colony-forming units, one serving of fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut,  can contain 10 trillion colony-forming units of bacteria, and give you a wider variety of beneficial bacteria, so all in all, it’s your most cost effective alternative.

Exercise is also vitally important. Use it or lose it is the key,but it doesn’t have to be hectic. Pilates,Yoga or just stretching 3 times a week, plus 2 sessions of high intensive workout, and of course walking, will do the trick! You can download an app called 7 minute workout, and you only need to do it twice a week.It’s pretty hectic, but hey, 7 minutes twice a week!

Hormones and healthy eating are so closely related that it is fair to say that you simply cannot enjoy good holistic health if your hormones are out of balance – and the balance can be a very fine one. Although some of these symptoms can be related to other conditions, it is certainly worth striving for hormonal balance, and you will find that a healthy, balanced, organic diet can go a long way towards addressing many of your body’s problems.

Learn also how to make use of the incredible power that natural herbs and plants can bring, and the benefits of meditation,  and a positive mindset.

P.S. Feeling hormonal? Why not download my free guide to hormone imbalances. Click Here

P.P.S. Any queries, ideas or if you would just like to say Hi, email me at info@menopausematters.guru