Let's Talk About Bone Health - Osteoporosis and Under Eating
+ A condition that weakens bones making them much more likely to break.
+ According to the NHS website more than 3 million people in the UK have osteoporosis.
+ Osteopenia is the stage before osteoporosis, where bone density is low but not low enough to be classed as osteoporosis.
+ It is very important to address osteopenia, as this can help to prevent the development of osteoporosis.
+Losing bone is a norma part of ageing. But some people lose bone much faster than normal…
Risk factors include:
High dose steroid use
Having/having had an eating disorder
WHAT ROLE DOES UNDER-EATING PLAY IN THIS?
Low energy availability (LEA): where intake is not enough to cover the energy demands of basic physiological processes, and os the body down regulates into ‘energy saving mode’. This is particularly important in the way it affects hormones, because of the bone protein role of oestrogen. Many studies have highlighted that oestrogen deficiency (for example after the menopause/ those with no/irregular menstrual cycles) can result in poor bone health.
WARNING SIGNS of LEA
Lack of three consecutive periods in females or a change to a previously regular menstrual cycle
Poor development of muscle mass
Difficulties staying warm in the winter and cool in the summer months
Poor recovery between training sessions
Constipation or feeling bloated
Pre-occupation and constantly talking about food
Poor sleep patterns
Restricting or strict control of food intake
Overtraining or difficulties taking rest days
Fear of food and weight restoration
WHAT CAN WE DO?
We often look for the ‘perfect’ answer, but there is no magic fix.
Work with a professional/your health c are provider.
Get out of an energy deficiency - eat more, exercise less and with less intensity, and/or combo of both. This is imperative.
Regular menstrual cycle - if of child bearing age
Regular weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening exercise.
(Nutritional considerations in later blog post).