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1 in 2 Post-menopausal Women Have Osteopenia

I wanted to draw your attention to osteopenia. This is a bone condition which can progress to osteoporosis. A shocking 1 in 2 women post-menopause have osteopenia. This is because bone density decreases sharply due to low oestrogen and decreasing testosterone levels.

There are over 300,000 fractures due to osteoporosis yearly in the UK.

That’s the bad news. And the good news is that yoga can prevent or even reverse it.

If you have osteopenia, it’s IMPORTANT to keep the back STRAIGHT when folding forwards and coming back up to standing, including sun salutations, (although you can do a reduced cat-cow movement which is good for flexibility and mobility).

How do you know if you’ve got osteopenia? Unfortunately there are no signs and symptoms until it develops into osteoporosis but if there’s a history in your family, it’s worth getting a bone density test. Risk factors include a lack of weight-bearing exercise and poor diet, low in Vitamin D, K and calcium. Also if your posture is poor, particularly when seated at your desk or slouching on the sofa, it's vital to improve it. Maybe you could place a mirror in a strategic position so that it's easier to notice when you've slumped! To be honest, with the ratio of 1 in 2, and alarming numbers of women who don't know they have osteopenia, it may be sensible to modify back flexion and extension anyway and to ensure you keep your core muscles active. Note that sit-ups are a no-no for osteopenia, so if you need alternative ways of engaging your core, why not try a balancing posture.

Holistic approaches are best

1. HRT to boost oestrogen levels in order to protect bone density (best to start in peri-menopause when hormone levels start fluctuating and you notice other oestrogen-deficient symptoms such as hot flushes etc)

2. Nutrition - avoid smoking, alcohol, red meat, white carbs, or unnatural sugar and eat healthy

3. Weight bearing exercise! Including 🎾 🏃‍♀️ 💃🏻 ⛷️ and dynamic yoga

4. Vitamin D supplements esp during Winter and eat foods for Vitamin K such as green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach & cabbage.

5. Reduce stress and prioritise good sleep, because cortisol depletes bone density and sleep repairs the body

Get in touch for a chat if you’d like to find out more.

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