Mary is approaching her mid 40’s and is concerned about early menopause and its related osteoporosis so she fully expects that her MD will put her on hormone replacement therapy. That’s what conventional thinking tells us right? When a woman gets above 45 she will suffer osteoporosis from menopause. What if that is not true? What if osteoporosis has mostly nothing to do with the lowered estrogen levels that causes menopause?
Long-term studies show that women who were athletic as teenage girls do not experience the same bone demineralization levels of most other women. Isn’t it also interesting that science is now telling women that the solution to preventing osteoporosis is to start exercising. If you start in your 30’s the outcome will be about half as effective as if you started exercising in your early 20’s and furthermore that the benefits are closer to 35% in the 40’s, 25% in the 50’s etc. Health advocates say that it’s never too late to benefit from more exercise to help reduce bone demineralization.
In the meantime, modern medicine seems completely oblivious to these developments and they keep forcing women to take hormone replacement therapy as the principal preventive measure for osteoporosis. Its like repeating an old wives tale that has been completely debunked but it remains conventional behavior.
More facts to ponder. Men who were not athletic as teenage boys are testing in their 50’s with a lower bone density than their more athletic counterparts at the same age. If osteoporosis comes from lowered estrogen production what does that have to do with men? Let’s face the truth, it is the lack of moderate physical exercise in the formative years of life that is the common denominator for early onset of osteoporosis.
Still another fact. Lack of Vitamin D continues to be a factor in proper bone density. Men tend to do more outside activities as an adult and women don’t. The decades of reduced sun exposure adult women get is another major bone density determinant. And who said that taking calcium tablets will actually increase bone density? If you have a Ca++ deficiency that would be a good reason to take Ca++ supplements but excessive calcium in the body causes other problems to the nervous and muscular systems.
So what lessons can we take from this topic?
- Taking hormone replacement therapy is unnecessary if not risky and is only addressing a limited aspect of a woman’s health in her advancing years.
- Adults need to get more exercise since it is still the BEST way to prevent osteoporosis.
- Taking additional Vitamin D is probably a good idea but better coupled with outside activities.
- Taking additional Calcium may not be as smart or helpful as we think.
The biggest lesson to learn from this blog is for parents to tell your kids to get outside and participate in as much physical activities as they can to grow strong bones before they become adults. I have always advised teenagers: “the body you create between the ages of 16 to 20 is the body that will carry you throughout your adult life” and with computers and new technologies this advice needs to be engrained in their psyche or tattooed on their minds.
Interesting perspective eh?!
Yours in Real Life,