October is a month that marks many women’s health events.
However, for us at The Scotia Clinic October is important for women in their second spring – women in the perimenopause and menopause. Menopause comes to all women and most of will spend at least a third of our lives in our second spring. Our team would like everyone to be healthy for that period in their lives.
World Menopause Day will be celebrated on October 18th and hot on its heels is World Osteoporosis Day on October 20th. These two events are in many ways interlinked.
The theme for World Menopause Day 2022 is Cognition and Mood. When we think of menopause most of think of hot flushes and sweats. In fact, poor memory, forgetfulness and mood changes are a significant problem that we encounter in our practice.
Who remembers going to the shop and on arrival wondering what you came for? Or wondering where you put the car keys? The list can be long
Many women panic when these symptoms happen and worry that they might be developing dementia. However, be reassured that this is rarely the case.
But poor brain function impacts our lives. One survey showed that 45% of menopausal women found they were less efficient at work, 26% felt their work quality was poorer and 7% felt their concentration was affected.
Staying ahead of the game from an early age is really important! Prevention is better than cure!
Tips to prevent memory issues
· A healthy diet rich in olive oil, a Mediterranean style diet is important
· Vitamin D and B vitamins are important. Omega 3’s are very important.
· Cut out cigarette smoking and minimise alcohol intake
· Physical activity such as aerobic exercise is linked to reduced dementia rates.
· Being out and about and socialising is important and performing mental activity. Maybe take up Wordle, crosswords or Bingo.
· Mindfulness- we all need me time even if it is a nice walk with the dog. Studies have shown that activities such as Tai Chi help memory
There is no doubt that HRT plays a role in helping brain function. In addition, getting proper sleep without night sweats etc. will help your work performance.
Mind Your Bones #StepUpForBoneHealth #worldosteoporosisday
This year the mantra is Step Up for Bone Health
The most important thing we must all do is mind our bones. When women get a hip fracture at least 60% never return to full independent living. Crush fractures in your back can trap nerves.
And so much of this can be prevented!
Did you know that you reach your peak bone mass in you mid 20’s?
And it’ s not just about our bones. As we enter menopause we lose muscle mass and we lose collagen. It is the one thing I wish I knew when I was younger. Muscle keeps everything together including the muscles in our vagina.
We lose 40% of our collagen at menopause which explains the sudden wrinkles, jowls and “wrinkly” skin.
Who is at risk?
· Being underweight for a prolonged period of time
· Noticing that you are losing height
· Having a family history of osteoporosis
· Some medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, early menopause, coeliac or IBD
· Many medications but particularly steroids
· Smoking. More recently vaping is being linked to bone thinning
Top Bone Tips
· From an early age do plenty of weight bearing exercise and resistance training
· Make sure you keep your Vitamin D and calcium levels up
· If you are at risk, then get a dexa scan done so know where you stand.
· At menopause HRT can help to prevent bone thinning.
· Check your diet. Sun is good for bones but excessive
sun damages skin
Take Home Message
Start young. When you are “20 something” it’s hard to think as far ahead as menopause but you lay down the foundations in your 20’s.
Check out all our social media in October and let’s have an amazing Second Spring
https://riskcheck.osteoporosis.foundation / www.imsociety.org
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The Scotia Clinic, Scotia House,Manor West, Tralee, Co. Kerry | (066) 7181100