Yes, menopause can increase the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis in women.
Heart disease: Oestrogen provides partial protection against heart disease before menopause. The risk of heart disease rises for women as they approach menopause with their falling oestrogen levels. This is because oestrogen supports stable cholesterol levels and maintains elastic blood vessels. Age, weight gain, and alterations in lipid profiles are among other menopause-related factors that can raise the risk of heart disease.
The adoption of heart-healthy lifestyle practises is crucial to lowering the risk of heart disease both during and after menopause. This involves keeping a healthy weight, regulating blood pressure and cholesterol levels, eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, and not smoking.
You can calculate your risk of having a heart attack or stroke in the next ten years using the below link. You will however need some blood results which can be taken in the clinic if needed:
Osteoporosis: Oestrogen is essential for maintaining bone density. Women are more vulnerable to osteoporosis, a disorder marked by weaker and brittle bones in the postmenopause when bone mass is lost rapidly.
It’s crucial to protect bone health in order to lower the risk of osteoporosis. This entails eating a diet with adequate calcium as it is absorbed much better from food than a supplement and you may find the calcium calculator from the Osteoporosis Foundation informative. A Vitamin D supplement is often needed, especially during the Winter months. Weight-bearing workouts, maintaining a healthy weight, abstaining from smoking and excessive alcohol are also important. It goes without saying that women must be careful and unfortunately consider stopping potentially dangerous sports such as skiing or horse riding. Hip protectors can be used.
In order to treat and prevent osteoporosis, your healthcare professional may also advise bone density scans (DEXA) and, if necessary, drugs or dietary supplements. Dr Summerhill can refer also refer for DEXA scans and women with risk factors such as previous low impact fractures, steroid use, malabsorption through bowel disorders, a history of eating disorders or smoking/excess alcohol are especially vulnerable. You are also considered at increased risk if your Mother had osteoporosis or broke her hip.