In recent years, menopausal symptoms and treatments have taken center stage in women's health discussions. But what comes after menopause shouldn't be kept a secret. Postmenopausal women often continue to experience the same symptoms as menopausal women do. In addition, other diseases, such as osteoporosis, begin to pose a higher threat after menopause.
Postmenopausal women have unique needs. During this stage of life, the body's production of essential hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone taper off, leaving women vulnerable to a number of health conditions like osteoporosis. Follow these three tips to maintain good health during postmenopause and prevent osteoporosis.
Eat a diet rich in fish, milk, and nuts
A well-balanced diet is recommended for all women, but especially those at risk of osteoporosis. Fish contains a high volume of omega-3 fatty acids, which can only be obtained from food sources. Omega-3 fatty acids help lower cholesterol, prevent heart disease, and reduce blood pressure. Milk or yogurt is recommended for its calcium nutrients, which are critical for maintaining healthy bones and preventing the onset of osteoporosis. Nuts are high in protein and also help maintain good bone health.
Partake in strength-training and flexibility exercises
As you get older, doing cardio-based workouts becomes more of a challenge. Consider taking a yoga or Pilates class that focuses on flexibility and breathing to alleviate the symptoms of postmenopause. Light weightlifting two to three times a week helps to build muscle and burn fat. Weightlifting also raises testosterone levels in the body which, in addition to boosting libido, helps to strengthen bones against osteoporosis and prevent fractures or breaks.
Take a multi-vitamin or herbal supplement
Choosing a multi-vitamin that contains calcium and vitamin D will help to strengthen bones and fight osteoporosis. Postmenopausal women still suffering from menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, irregular periods, mood swings, and vaginal dryness should consider taking an herbal supplement to combat these symptoms.
Among the most popular herbs for menopausal symptoms are: black cohosh, dong quai, and red clover, but it is better to take hormone-regulating herbal supplements like Macafem because it does not contain side effects.
Most doctors recommend making simple dietary and lifestyle changes like the ones listed above before considering pharmaceutical options for postmenopausal symptoms, such as osteoporosis. Medications used for hormone replacement therapy (HRT) are often associated with high risks and costs.
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- Martin, Raquel. The Estrogen Alternative. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2000.