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Calcium, menopause and osteoporosis

World Menopause Day is 18 October. The purpose of the day is to raise awareness of the menopause and the support options available for improving health and wellbeing. The theme for 2021 is Bone Health.

Menopause (the natural ending of periods that usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55) can increase your risk of developing osteoporosis, a condition in which bones become thin (less dense) and may fracture easily.

The drop in oestrogen levels that occurs around the time of menopause results in increased bone loss. It is estimated that, on average, women lose up to 10 per cent of their bone mass in the first five years after menopause. To reduce your risk of osteoporosis, eat a diet rich in calcium and do regular weight-bearing exercise. These lifestyle habits are best started younger in life to get the most benefit. While prevention is best, medical treatments are available for osteoporosis management.

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Menopause & Calcium Supplements

World Menopause Day is 18 October. The purpose of the day is to raise awareness of menopause and the support options available for improving health and wellbeing. The theme for 2021 is Bone Health.

Osteoporotic fractures are a common problem worldwide and are associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Calcium is a major component of the skeleton and traditionally calcium supplements have been considered an integral part of osteoporosis management. Furthermore, most studies of osteoporosis therapies have been performed with the use of concurrent calcium supplements. In recent years, the role of calcium supplements has been controversial, particularly whether they lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

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How fitness can help you through menopause

From the right way to exercise, to what to eat and drink and the case for HRT, experts explain how women can prepare for midlife changes to their bodies.

Sometimes your body notices things before your mind does: you might think you’re so far away from the menopause that a hot flush is just a thing you can fake to get out of a boring situation, but your midriff knows better. Lucinda Meade, 57, is a physiotherapist and personal trainer. She has trained many clients through the menopause and says it tends to start with surreptitious weight gain around the middle, which they then can’t shift. It may be accompanied by aches and pains in smaller joints, and an unappetising smörgåsbord of “mood changes, sleep changes, annoying visits to the GP to be given antidepressants”.

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Menopause Hormone Therapy shortages in Australia

There has been a recent shortage of some menopause hormone therapy (MHT) preparations in Australia in 2020. 

Many of these shortages have now been resolved or should be resolved by early to mid-2021.

It is advised that you visit your doctor/GP well before your prescription expires to ensure that you are not left without the preparation you need. Should the preparation you need not be available your doctor will be able to supply a substitute until the shortage of your regular preparation is resolved. 

The Australasian Menopause Society provides information on appropriate substitution products:

MHT/HRT Doses Australia

You may also wish to talk to your pharmacist to see which substitution product they do have available before visiting your GP. 

Clearing the fog during menopause

Finding it hard to concentrate at certain times of the month? Your hormones could be causing brain fog.

In the days leading up to their periods, many premenstrual women have long complained about poor concentration, having trouble remembering things, even struggling to make a decision. It’s called brain fog or ‘brain fatigue’ and has finally become a serious topic in women’s health.

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Foods for menopause

It sounds too good to be true – but are there particular foods or dietary changes that can help improve the symptoms of menopause? We speak to Jean Hailes naturopath Sandra Villella to find out.

First things first: what is menopause?

Menopause is the final menstrual period – and it’s a natural part of life. The average age for women in Australia to reach menopause is 51 or 52 years, but anytime from 45 to 55 years is common. 

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