Unfortunately, the longer your body goes without a menstrual period, the higher your risk of osteoporosis and fracture. Oestrogen plays a big role in maintaining bone density. Some 20 to 30 per cent of bone loss in women occurs in the first five years after menopause, which can lead to increased risk of fractured hips and bone density issues.
Perhaps, what’s worse, many postmenopausal women are in denial about their personal risk, according to an International Osteoporosis Foundation survey of women in 11 countries. And this means they don’t take steps to safeguard those bones, including eating a calcium-rich diet, performing weight-bearing exercises and strength-training, and limiting too much sodium as well as beverages (alcohol, soft drinks, coffee) that leach calcium from bones.
Check out these 19 things you can do in under 10 minutes to help you live longer.
Believe it or not, oestrogen can even impact those pearly whites. The same process that leads to bone loss in the spine and hips can lead to the loss of the alveolar bones in the jaw. The result: loose teeth, tooth loss and periodontal disease, which women are more susceptible to after menopause, according to a study published in the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine. In addition, “many postmenopausal women note dry mouth, pain or burning in the gum tissue as well as altered taste for salty, peppery or sour foods,” says menopause specialist Dr JoAnn V. Pinkerton. Now more than ever, good oral hygiene counts.
Gum disease is also one of the 13 common illnesses that have been linked to Alzheimer’s.
Sleep apnoea is pretty common for postmenopausal women but, unfortunately, nearly 90 per cent of women are not diagnosed, says Dr Pinkerton. Unlike men, women may not have the hallmark signs of the sleep disorder – snoring, pauses of breath and excessive daytime sleepiness, for instance. Instead, they may experience such atypical symptoms such as insomnia, morning headache, fatigue, tiredness, depression and anxiety, she points out. Here are the 9 silent signs of sleep apnoea you may be ignoring.