Osteoporosis is rarely, if ever, mentioned as a top health concern for women. While doctors encourage you to do monthly breast checks and watch for changes in moles on your skin, there's seldom a discussion about protecting your bones. If anything, perhaps you pop a calcium supplement. And yet, simple lifestyle choices and changes you make today can lower your risk of developing thinning bones and fractures in the future. Same goes for your kids, who acquire about 90% of their bone mass by high school graduation. And don't forget about your parents: Small fixes around their homes can prevent unnecessary falls, which often lead to debilitating bone breaks. Don't wait. Now is the time to take action to safeguard yourself and your entire family.
By Eileen Stukane
If you are menstruating less regularly you may have a hormonal imbalance or be entering perimenopause. Low estrogen levels, in particular, can interrupt the body's natural process of bone turnover, whereby the skeleton regularly sheds cells and produces new ones. This may lead to an overall reduction in bone mass. Make an appointment with your gynecologist for a blood test to determine your levels and see if hormone replacement therapy may be necessary.