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

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

Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about peri menopause

Everything you ever want to know about peri menopause

It is only relatively recently that science has been able to break down the female experience they simply called ‘change of life’ and give each stage of it a name, like ‘peri menopause’, ‘menopause’ and ‘post menopause’. What every woman over the age of fifty could have told them, it took scientists painfully long to recognise as a serious complication of the process of ageing, and the wait was costly in terms of misunderstanding, misdiagnosis and mistreatment.

So now it is official. It’s in the books. ‘Peri menopause’ is first stage menopause and the one it is vital to understand and crack right at the beginning. It is when the body begins to prepare itself for a time when child bearing is over and no longer therefore the focus of the body biology. 

This usually happens in a woman’s 40s and is generally a fairly measured process, a gradual build-up to the time when the menstruation cycle ceases completely. From a body chemistry point of view, peri menopause is signalled by a dropping off in progesterone production. Progesterone is such a critical hormone in females that when its production slows down or ceases much trouble can be expected. That’s because normal health requires a hormonal balance between progesterone and its opposite, oestrogen. Take one away and the other becomes dominant.

Signs of peri menopause

Here are some of the ‘symptoms’ that have been found to be the signatories of progesterone decline:

  • Anxiety 
  • tearfulness 
  • weight gain (or loss)
  • lowering libido 
  • night sweats
  • increased menstrual cramping
  • cracked and dry skin, and many more still to be documented. 

 

These uncomfortable symptoms are because the body is trying to adjust to the relative oestrogen excess.

Now, oestrogen and progesterone are what are known as the ‘sex hormones’. But when they are unbalanced it affects other hormones too. For example, cortisol levels may increase and insulin resistance can become more common. 

As you will readily understand all these hormones are synthesised in the body using nutrients absorbed in the digestive process. And so it is absolutely vital at this potentially unbalancing time to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Get that right and the business of managing and coping with the effects of peri menopause can become a little easier.

Another word of explanation! Before menopause the ovaries are the main source of oestrogen manufacture, but as  they become less active the balance shifts. Eventually at least half of the body’s oestrogen and progesterone is made in the adrenal glands. 

At times of stress the adrenal glands will always prioritise the secretion of the stress hormones over the creation of sex hormones – that’s their prime function, you see. Stress therefore is a key factor in keeping your body hormonally balanced from your 40s onward. The body, meanwhile, can also seek oestrogen from other sources – like the fat cells which store it – once the ovaries start to slow down. Of course this may explain why some women put on weight at this time – the body craves more oestrogen which translates as more food. 

Oestrogen dominance is actually a dreadful condition, particularly during peri menopause. It is the cause of decreased sex drive, irregular or absent periods, bloating, swollen and tender breasts, not to mention depression and irritability, wild mood swings, cold hands and feet, weight gain, and headaches.

 

 How to manage peri menopause

So all in all, you have to find ways of managing or alleviating what is happening to you during peri menopause. On a scale of one to ten proper nutrition must be a ten and your first priority.

Healthy diet in peri-menopause and menopause

Eat a healthy balanced diet, avoiding refined carbohydrates such as pasta, bread, cake and biscuits, and choosing fresh vegetables, white meat and fish, pulses and whole grains instead.

Switch to organic if you can possibly afford it, it is after all just another investment in your own health! (It can be expensive, but at least you should go organic or be prepared to leave out apples, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, grapes, hot peppers, nectarines, peaches, potatoes, spinach, strawberries, peppers, kale and courgettes. Here are some that it is supposedly ok to go with ‘organic or not’: asparagus, avocados, cabbage, melon, sweetcorn, aubergine, grapefruit, kiwi, mango, mushrooms, onions, papaya, pineapple, frozen peas, and sweet potatoes.)

If you can handle it, try to cut out the use of stimulants like caffeine and alcohol, but don’t be too hard on yourself! In other words, don’t make yourself miserable. 

And then there is the question of keeping yourself ‘busy’. Exercise is obviously number one here because not only can it keep your mind off your problems, it is so good for you! And in this bracket you can include things like regular reflexology or massage treatments, daily meditation, better time management, spending more time outdoors, spending time with animals/nature, and even keeping track of your actions and thoughts!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is the peri-menopause?

The peri-menopause can be a confusing time. Here we explain what ist's all about and what it means for you

Peri-menopause and what it means for you

Peri-menopause is the end of a woman’s child bearing years, around the age of 40 onwards, culminating in menopause. It’s also the end of periods. Yay…there are some pluses! The resulting decline in progesterone can cause some of the following symptoms:
  • Hot flushes
  • Weight gain
  • Mood swings
  • Low libido
  • Sleeping problems
  • Irregular periods
These occur as progesterone levels decline, leaving the hormone oestrogen dominant, and an increase in cortisol, (the fight or flight stress hormone) After menopause, the adrenal glands take over from the ovaries in the production of oestrogen and progesterone.
Stress will lead to increased cortisol and a decline in the production of the sex hormones. As progesterone decreases, oestrogen and cortisol increase, so it’s important to source a bio-identical form of progesterone to combat this, preferably as a cream. A balanced life style and a healthy organic diet is all important, too. I’ll go into this in more detail in the future. Don’t despair, there’s lots you can do!
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

What is the NUMBER 1 secret to a health happy menopause?

The number one secret to a healthy, happy menopause is hormonal balance. 

The best way to achieve this is bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, BHRT, which has been the biggest breakthrough in recent years. Shun synthetic hormone replacement therapy, HRT, like the plague! Many doctors treat menopause as a disease, prescribing synthetic hormones which make millions for  the drug companies. Instead, using only natural, bio-identical hormones, helps to relieve these distressing symptoms. Let me explain that more fully. Bio-identical means that it is identical to the same hormone that your body produces, and will fit exactly with the receptors in your body and comes from a natural source.
When doctors prescribe HRT, they are referring to synthetic hormones, such as oestrogen, estradiol, synthetic progesterone, progestin etc. in the form of tablets, injections, capsules, implants or creams.  These don’t fit your bodies receptors properly and cause confusion and disruption, not to mention ill health.
In 2002, researchers called a halt to a huge government- run study of hormone replacement therapy, used by millions of women under the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI). Researchers discovered that the long-term use of synthetic oestrogen and progestin significantly increased women’s danger of stroke, blood clots, heart disease and invasive breast cancer.
Bio-identical hormones, however,  can help protect your body from cancer, stroke, and heart disease as well as other diseases related to inflammation and early ageing. The best form of BHRT is the natural hormone, progesterone, also known as the mother hormone. This is because it is the precursor to all the other hormones, including testosterone, and is vital in their manufacture.
If you are between the ages of 35 and 55, there are important truths you need to know. Symptoms can start  as long as 10 years before. Most doctors’ advice is hopelessly out of date. Many of them  know little or nothing about the benefits of bio-identical hormone therapy, although there are some enlightened ones out there. This is often not their fault as they were never taught about it in medical school, in the same way that learning about nutrition probably took up less then a day! What they were taught consists primarily of information from drug companies whose purpose is to sell the synthetic hormones of HRT, for obvious reasons. As I said before, this is a major break through in treating hormonal imbalances and inflammation, especially if combined with organic, healthy, unprocessed foods, good nutritional supplements, enough sleep and regular exercise. This can benefit your overall health and wellbeing physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I will go into this in more detail in my next post.
As a world expert on bio-identical hormone replacement says, “We age because our hormones decline… our hormones don’t decline because we age.”

A woman’s hormonal system, with all its ebbs and flows, like those of the earth’s tides and the moon, acts as an link between your emotional life and your body. Mess with your hormones and you may  undermine your ability to grow spiritually.’