As women go through the menopause they have a significant drop in bone density of up to 10% in the first 5 years.

This increases the risk of falls and fragility fractures which can then be associated with adverse health outcomes. "Fragility fractures are a leading cause of chronic disease morbidity. For instance, in Europe, fragility fractures are the fourth leading cause, after ischemic heart disease, dementia, and lung cancer" 

"Hip fractures cause the most morbidity and reported mortality rates up to 20–24% in the first year after a hip fracture. Loss of function and independence among survivors is profound, with 40% unable to walk independently, and 60% requiring assistance a year later"

Women can really help themselves by improving their nutritional intake. This means eating adequate amounts of calcium rich foods such as;
  • dairy products, like milk and cheese
  • green leafy vegetables
  • almonds
  • sesame seeds
  • sardines
  • dried fruit
  • pulses
  • tofu
Ensuring exposure to sunlight to help with Vitamin D levels is important, however supplementation is often recommended particularly in the winter months. 

Protein requirements increase as we age and it is vital that menopausal women eat plenty to help with bone and muscle maintenance. The muscles supporting our bones are equally important and unfortunately the loss of muscle mass also occurs at the time of the menopause. Protein can help to repair and build new muscle tissue as part of a nutritious diet alongside appropriate exercise.This means progressive resistance training and weight bearing exercise. Use it or lose it!

Good sources of protein are
  • meat
  • fish
  • eggs
  • some dairy such as cheese and yogurt
  • Soy based products such as Tofu or Tempah
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Beans and pulses
Smoking and excessive alcohol intake are considered to be harmful to bone health

HRT has been shown to be really helpful for bone protection and the prevention of osteoporosis in women under the age of 60yrs.