Using Probiotics for Bone and Joint Health in Menopause
The first 5-7 years after the onset of menopause can bring about a wide variety of symptoms. These can be such symptoms as hot flashes, weight gain, brain fog, low sex drive, loss of bone density, and joint health issues.
Estrogen plays many roles in your body, one of which involves protecting bone strength. With the decline of this hormone in menopause, your bone density lowers as well. This does not mean that your risk for bone fractures and osteoporosis increases right away. But this can happen down the road if you do not include changes in your style of life to protect your bones.
Can HRT Help Improve Bone and Joint Health?
Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) used to be a very common treatment that healthcare professionals suggested to women who suffer from symptoms of menopause. And HRT could indeed improve vaginal health, relieve insomnia, hot flashes, mood swings, and other symptoms. But, it is not a common procedure for increasing bone density and bone strength.
The thing is, your bones need extra care when you get older, many years into menopause. But the effects of HRT only work during the time you are taking it, so once your other symptoms are gone, your bones will lose that protection as well. It's best to consult a doctor regarding the pros and cons of HRT and whether or not it's right for you.
Alternative Remedies for Joint Health Support
You cannot stop bone loss after menopause, but you can make some changes in your life to slow it down. Here are a few tips you can follow to support your bone and joint health.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating a healthy diet is a good idea at any point in your life, but in menopause, it becomes very relevant for keeping bone health in check. Make sure you get calcium and vitamin D from your diet or take those in the form of supplements for strong bones. You can find calcium in green leafy veggies, seeds and nuts, fish, dairy, and dried fruit. To get enough vitamin D, spend about 15 minutes in the sun every day and eat such foods as eggs and oily fish.
Drink Plenty of Water
Tissues in your body need water to function correctly. In menopause, your body does not have the same ability to retain water as it did before, so hydration is essential. Drinking plenty of water means just plain water or water with a slice of lemon or cucumber. Any other drink you may have like tea, coffee, or juice, is not counted for hydration.
Exercise for Joint Health
When you have joint pains, working out is probably the last thing you have on your to-do list. But, do not avoid it, because exercise is perfect for your overall health and the health of your joints. When you work out regularly, you make sure that your muscles keep strong, and your joints are lubricated. At least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week will keep you and your joints in shape.
Keep a Healthy Weight
Many women in menopause suffer from weight gain. As a result, they have this stubborn fat that just does not go away no matter what they do. This extra weight can put more pressure on your joints when you move, so it is time to take control and get rid of it. Follow these diet and exercise tips for weight loss and keep healthy weight so you can help your joints not to struggle.
Benefits of Probiotics for Bone and Joint Health
Probiotics have shown to be helpful for many symptoms of menopause so far. But their health benefits for bone health are also very impressive. A 2017 study discusses how supplementing with probiotics could help increase bone density and also protect from osteoporosis. This effect of the healthy bacteria on bone health leads to the conclusion that bone health is connected to your gut health. By improving the balance of good bacteria in your gut with probiotics, you start seeing results for your bone health as well.
Gut microflora regulates bone mass, and it also has an impact on immune health. Probiotics work to improve bone and immune health on many levels. They can help your body absorb minerals, improve gut barrier function, and even strengthen your immune defenses. Apart from being used for digestive issues and other gut-related problems, studies on probiotics showed that they also could improve bone mass.
Another study published looked at Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG in particular. It found that this probiotic can prevent pathological loss of bone. These bacteria achieve that by stimulating the formation of the bone and increasing its anabolism. Lactobacilli are among the most popular probiotics you can find in both food and supplements. Therefore, you can already start getting the benefits of these friendly bacteria very soon.